Aam Aadmi Party likely to announce Lok Sabha candidates next week
Party leader Atishi, who was put in charge of East Delhi constituency, was introduced as AAP’s official candidate from the seat by chief minister and party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal last month. This is the first candidature declared by AAP so far.delhi Updated: Sep 08, 2018 02:42 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is pulling up its socks for next year’s general elections, is likely to announce the party’s candidates from all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi by next week.
AAP’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai said on Friday that the party has been preparing for the Lok Sabha elections and has already appointed prabharis (in-charge) for five of the seven constituencies.
Party spokesperson Dilip Pandey is in charge of the North-east Delhi segment, AAP’s national secretary Pankaj Gupta has been given charge of Chandni Chowk, former BJP MLA is looking after Bawana, Guggan Singh Ranga is for Northwest Delhi and spokesperson Raghav Chadha is in charge of the South Delhi Lok Sabha constituency.
Party leader Atishi, who was put in charge of East Delhi constituency, was introduced as AAP’s official candidate from the seat by chief minister and party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal last month – the first candidature AAP has declared so far.
Rai said these five leaders are likely to remain the faces of the party in the upcoming polls, unless there is an “unforeseen development”. The announcement for candidates for two seats -- New Delhi and West Delhi -- is awaited.
“We will make a formal announcement probably by next week. For the West Delhi and New Delhi constituencies, we are still considering names. Around eight to 10 names are being discussed,” Rai said.
AAP leaders said these leaders have been chosen for their work in specific fields. For instance, Atishi is known in Delhi for her work in the field of education and improving government schools along with Delhi’s deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia. Pandey has a close support base among the volunteers because of his former position as the party’s Delhi’s convenor.
Chadha, the party said, has established a connect with the city’s youth, while Ranga proved his mettle by winning the AAP the Bawana by-polls based on his extensive work in the rural belt of Delhi. Gupta is also known as a senior party leader and has been associated with the AAP since the party was established.
For the remaining seats, the party is trying to bring candidates with a strong socio-political connect, Rai said. The idea would also be to bring someone who is from the city and who can understand the problems of the people.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of celebrities and candidates from other political parties.
Appointing block presidents before polls
To strengthen its presence at every ward, the AAP has decided to deploy 2.5 lakh workers, each of whom will function as a “block president” for every 25 houses in a Lok Sabha constituency. “They will ensure feedback is collected from every household more efficiently,” said Rai.
He said the party has completed work on appointing mandal and booth presidents, but the focus is to reach every household and to keep the channel of communication between the party leadership and the voters open.
At present, the party has 25,000 booth presidents and 13,000 mandal presidents.
“One booth has 250 houses and one block has 25 houses under it. The idea is to have one person in charge of 25 houses so that they can spend at least 10 minutes every week with one house and communicate the plans of the government and take feedback,” he said.
Rai said the party is looking for people who will have the required time to devote towards their blocks and also have good communication skills.
The party is planning to complete the first round of door-to-door campaigns by November, and the second round is likely to be completed by February next year—if the election dates are announced for April 2019.
First Published: Sep 08, 2018 02:42 IST