AAP set to shelve grand Gujarat poll plan, redraw national strategy
AAP launched an elaborate exercise in Gujarat to spread its reach and contest the polls there as a direct challenge to the BJP.india Updated: Jun 10, 2017 16:47 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party might not contest all the seats in the Gujarat assembly elections later this year as it is planning to redraw its strategy after poll reverses in Punjab, Goa and the Delhi municipal corporation.
The consensus within the party brass is to look at “consolidating our position in Delhi and Punjab” and go slow on Gujarat, a senior AAP leader said on Friday.
“Gujarat is no longer our priority. Regaining lost ground in Delhi is of utmost importance. Punjab has given us a good opportunity by making us the principal opposition party. We need to build on that.”
The western state has been part of the party’s plan to expand its national footprint. The AAP launched an elaborate exercise in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state five months ago to spread its reach and become the main challenger to the ruling BJP by contesting all the 182 seats.
Senior leaders, including Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, were put in charge of regions in the state to oversee election preparations. Gopal Rai, a former Delhi minister and party in-charge of the Capital, headed the Gujarat initiative.
But a series of crises have hit the party since, especially infighting after the Delhi civic polls and the February-March assembly elections in which the AAP fell way short of its expectations in Punjab and Goa.
The change in course will be discussed at Sunday’s meeting of the national executive – the party’s highest body comprising around two dozen top leaders. The previous meeting was held in April last year.
The party has set aside a discussion on the “future course” during the meeting, apart from taking stock of its performance in Delhi and Punjab, an AAP leader said.
“A final decision on Gujarat will be taken at a meeting next week of those involved with the party’s expansion in the state with Arvind Kejriwal. It is now a question of how many seats to fight in the assembly elections there.”
Gujarat in-charge Rai confirmed that a meeting will be held on June 6. But he refused to elaborate on a report to be submitted to Kejriwal, the AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister.