AAP gears up for municipal polls, ramps up Delhi unit

  • Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 29, 2016 23:50 IST
The party won five seats out of 13 that went to bypolls. (Sonu Mehta/ HT FILE)

The municipal bypoll results have prompted the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to strengthen its Delhi unit.

Seven new members, who are also MLAs, have been inducted into the party unit and given the post of vice-president. The legislators will manage two district units each.

The party won five seats out of 13 that went to bypolls. It was for the first time that the party contested elections at the municipal level. Party leaders said while they were satisfied with the result, though expected to win more seats.

Senior party members said since the municipal elections in Delhi next year were crucial for the party, they wanted to be fully prepared.

Most of the members, who scripted AAP’s 2015 Delhi assembly election win, have been in Punjab for the past six months. Some have been making regular visits to Goa since the party decided to contest elections in the state. Assembly elections in both states are scheduled for next year.

“The municipal bypoll results were positive for us but we recognise the need to consolidate support in Delhi. The Delhi municipal elections are very important for us,” said a senior party leader.

On Sunday, Delhi assembly deputy speaker Bandana Kumari vacated her post, saying she has to focus on the constituency and the wards under it.

“I resigned because our support base in the ward has weakened. In the assembly election, we won majority of the seats. In the municipal bypolls we came in third. I take moral responsibility of this and recognise the need to work in the area. That’s why I decided to resign,” she said, denying that the party had asked her to quit.

Sources said Kumari was asked to quit because she and her husband had opposed the candidate chosen by the party to contest the municipal bypoll in the Shalimar Bagh constituency. Kumari has denied this allegation.

The seven MLAs, who have become vice-presidents in the Delhi unit, are Mahinder Yadav from Vikaspuri, Rajendra Pal Gautam from Seemapuri, Sahi Ram from Tughlakabad, Sanjeev Jha from Burari, Amantullah Khan from Okhla, Jarnail Singh from Tilak Nagar and Praveen Kumar from Jangpura.

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