Buoyed by its good run in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) is out to conquer Uttar Pradesh — the “fulcrum of Indian politics” — or half of it anyway.
With a presence in over 80% districts, the party plans to concentrate on at least 40 of the state’s 80 seats and has apparently even picked a candidate — Kumar Vishwas — to take on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Working on a “scientific pattern” tested successfully in Delhi, the party is trying to replicate in UP, said AAP district convener Anmol. And it has cause to be optimistic. “In over 80% districts, our membership has crossed the 5,000 mark. More and more people want to join now,” he said.
Riding high on confidence after party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s big victory against former CM Sheila Dikshit in Delhi, the APP is also planning to settle a few scores at the hustings. Topping the list is SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party has been staunchly against the Jan Lokpal bill. The party will take on Yadav at his home turf Mainpuri.
The other one is external affairs minister Salman Khurshid in Farrukhabad. In November 2012, Kejriwal had carried out a campaign against the alleged misappropriation of grants by the Dr Zakir Husain Memorial Trust headed by Khurshid. “We will give a better picture of our UP plans after two-three days,” said prominent AAP leader Manish Sisodia. And hinting at bigger plans, he added that the party has a presence “not only in UP but in over 310 districts of country”.