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AAP now plans to contest all elections in Maharashtra

The party’s Maharashtra committee, which was disbanded in 2015, will be reconstituted with new members in a month

mumbai Updated: Jan 18, 2018 23:03 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
AAP,Maharashtra elections,Parliament
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leader Preeti Sharma Menon pay tribute to Rajmata Jijabai on the occasion of her birth anniversary at Buldhana in Maharashtra on Friday.(PTI)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) plans to contest all forthcoming polls in the state. Former Lok Sabha MP, brigadier (retired) Sudhir Sawant, who joined the party last week, announced this decision on Thursday. “From now on, AAP Maharashtra will contest all elections, be it the Parliament, Assembly, local body or Nagar Panchayat elections,” he said.

Sawant said the party’s Maharashtra committee, which was disbanded in 2015, would be reconstituted with new members in a month. He said the emergence of AAP was inevitable in the state. “Today, the people have no credible alternative. They are sandwiched between the BJP-Shiv Sena — which favours the rich — and Congress-NCP — which is corrupt. In such a scenario, AAP can fill the vacuum.”

This announcement is significant as AAP has shied away from contesting any elections following the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when it contested all 48 seats and failed to secure any. This had led to disillusionment among the workers and also dissuaded many from joining the party.

It will soon form a group, ‘Friends of Farmers’, through which volunteers can interact with farmers from different states to work out solutions to the agrarian crises.

Just last week, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal gave Sawant the responsibility of consolidating the party in Maharashtra, at a rally he was addressing in Buldhana’s Sindhkhed Raja.

In 1991, Sawant, a Congress member, trounced former Union minister Madhu Dandawate, a five-time MP from Rajapur in Konkan. He later quit the party to join the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which expelled him.

Former AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, who has been critical of the party, said there was a need for AAP in Maharashtra. “Its challenge is how to attract good talent and pursue its agenda,” said Gandhi.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 23:01 IST