‘Bijli-Paani’ did it for them in Delhi. And now the Aam Aadmi Party has zeroed in on ‘drug abuse’ and ‘goondagardi’ (hooliganism) as the two key issues to ‘connect’ with the electorate and trump the traditional political parties in Punjab.
The single biggest dream of the party is corruption-free India, an AAP leader said, but the party needs to raise the political pitch around one or two issues which have universal appeal among the masses, and across the state. “In Punjab, drug abuse has turned into a menace affecting almost every village of the state. Another issue that universally affects people here is goondagardi (hooliganism) by people close to parties in power, be it the incumbent government or those in power. And both these issues thrive due to corruption,” said a senior AAP leader.
The party think-tank feels these two issues would help them in expansion --- both in terms of political reach and setting up organisational network --- as “Punjab is one state that is yearning for an alternative political choice because the traditional parties are feeding on the evils such as drug abuse plaguing the state.”
“Be it the Akali Dal, BJP or Congress, all these parties have been exposed. Over the past few months, their office-bearers have been arrested for involvement in drug racket. These parties might live in denial mode, but people can clearly see through it,” Durgesh Pathak, AAP leader and co-convener of Punjab affairs told Hindustan Times.
While elections for the 117-member Punjab Assembly are scheduled for early 2017, the party has already hit the ground in an effort to build its organisational structure.
“We have divided the state into 13 zones with three sectors in each zone. A jansabha is being held in each of the 39 sectors. By September 29, a jansabha would be held in each of these sectors. All senior leaders of the party, barring Arvind Kejriwal are attending these jansabhas,” said Durgesh, who was one of the key members in the screening committee that selected candidates for Delhi Assembly polls held earlier this year.