AAP leadership shy of Gujarat polls, but volunteers want to fight
The Delhi-based leadership is no longer keen on putting up a big fight as it had originally planned in January this year, especially after the party’s poor show in Punjab, Goa and the Delhi municipal elections.india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 17:18 IST
Faced with a brewing rebellion from its cadre in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party leadership is shying away from announcing its decision on fighting the assembly elections there later this year.
A number of AAP volunteers in Gujarat are up in arms against the party high command’s plan to pull out of the polls and have threatened to quit the party, sources in the Gujarat unit and Delhi confirmed.
As a result, the AAP central leadership, led by Arvind Kejriwal, has put off announcing the decision to pull out of the polls entirely or partially.
The Delhi-based leadership is no longer keen on putting up a big fight as it had originally planned in January this year, especially after the party’s poor show in Punjab, Goa and the Delhi municipal elections.
“Let’s just say we are avoiding a decision,” a source in the party working on the party’s original Gujarat project said.
The Gujarat unit had given a presentation and held deliberations with party seniors, including Kejriwal, last month on poll preparations, after which they were told the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), AAP’s highest decision-making body, would meet last month and take a final call. The meeting never took place.
The unit had told Kejriwal that the cadre were keen on contesting all 182 seats as they have been preparing for it since the party was formed.
The state unit had also suggested tying up with the other opposition parties, including Congress, but the suggestion was shot down by the central leadership as “suicidal”.
“We want to focus on rebuilding our strength in Delhi and not enter another (Narendra) Modi versus Kejriwal contest,” a party leader said on condition of anonymity.
Confirming that some volunteers have threatened to leave if the party does not contest the polls, state AAP leader Kanu Bhai Kalsaria said, “The result may not be as good as they are expecting. Maybe at the lower levels, volunteers will leave but those who are genuinely committed to AAP will not.”
Kalsaria is a three-time MLA who quit the BJP to join AAP in 2014.