iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Nagender Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 28, 2013
Faced with growing demands from its volunteers to contest a large number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party will adopt a twin strategy of putting up "clean and winnable candidates" wherever possible, with primary focus on the capital.

The party, which stunned its political opponents and even analysts with an impressive debut in the capital, remains keen on consolidating the gains made in the assembly elections.

 The AAP office in the capital and its headquarters at Kaushambi (Ghaziabad) are being thronged by people willing to become its members and many are coming forward to fill forms seeking party tickets for Lok Sabha polls from different states.

Party leaders say it is too early to take a call on how many Lok Sabha seats the AAP will finally decide to contest, though pressure is mounting to go beyond the National Capital Region in a big way.

"The Political Affairs Committee of the party will take a call on the number of Lok Sabha seats to be contested, but it is clear that in the present scenario Delhi continues to be our primary focus for a number of reasons," said senior party leader, Ashish Talwar.

The AAP leadership is treading with caution given the delicate political situation in the capital, where its first government will be sworn in on Saturday, but given the numbers game in the assembly, they are not sure how long will it last.

With the possibility of an assembly repoll along with the Lok Sabha elections in April-May not being ruled out, the AAP is clear that its star campaigner Arvind Kejriwal may not find much time to travel across the country.

Party leaders, however, concede that growing public pressure will force them to send Kejriwal for campaigning on seats adjoining the capital like Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Meerut, Faridabad, Sonipat, Rohtak, Hisar and Kurushetra.

The AAP leadership is also aware of the growing response to the party in several other areas of Haryana and Rajasthan.