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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Victory hopes dim, AAP’s state units are in disarray

Brajesh Kumar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 02, 2014
First Published: 07:39 IST(2/5/2014) | Last Updated: 10:33 IST(2/5/2014)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) went big this Lok Sabha election fielding more than 400 candidates across the country.

But its units in states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, where the party is unlikely to open an account, are in disarray and could face split or exodus of its members after the results are declared on May 16.

“We could see upheaval in the state unit after the results come in,” Ajit Kumar Singh, an office bearer in the Bihar unit told HT.

The reasons, he said, varied from resentment over the selection of candidates to disconnect between the state unit and the central leadership. “The central leadership should have kept a close watch on what is going on in state units,” he said.

AAP is contesting all 40 seats in Bihar, and if Singh is to be believed, the party does not hope to win any.

In Madhya Pradesh, a party office-bearer said there was no check on the kind of people who joined the party and as a result, AAP’s survival in the state is dependent on how many of the 29 candidates it fielded win. “Majority joined AAP to milk the party’s popularity after the Delhi assembly results, and if the results are not favourable they might not stay on in the party,” he said.

The party’s state convener Abhay Verma admitted if it fails to win any seat, AAP will find it difficult to survive.

“We are hoping to win one seat, but if that does not happen we are going to have a difficult time,” he said.

The situation is not very different in Rajasthan where AAP’s state convener Ashok Jain said the party would have had the chance to win a few seats if the central leadership had devoted more time.

“Of course, Arvind Kejriwal’s rally here would have made a huge difference, but then I am aware that the demand for him was from all over the country,” he said. Out of the total 22 candidates the party fielded in Rajasthan, the party expects to win Kota from where Jain contested.

In Gujarat, the party is facing factionalism between those who have been associated with different movements in the state and others with political background.

“The fight between those from Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, the farmer’s wing of the BJP and others who have been activists, will come out in the open after the election results are declared,” a party member said.


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