AAP eyes states where it’s Congress versus BJP

Published on Sep 29, 2016 07:03 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: In a well-crafted strategy, the AAP appears to be targeting those states where the Congress is in direct fight with the BJP or a regional force.

The AAP’s strategy to hit the Congress in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, MP and Himachal Pradesh seems to reflect this focus. Even Rajasthan is on its radar.

Perhaps the AAP’s victory in the 2015 elections in Delhi — where it cut into the Congress votes — prompted the new party to reshape its electoral strategy for other states.

As part of its plan, the AAP is not contesting the upcoming polls in UP but in Goa and Punjab. While the ruling SP is locked in a bitter battle with the BSP in UP with the BJP emerging as a third force, the AAP’s entry in Goa and Punjab has directly hit the Congress prospects of regaining power in these two states. UP, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur go to polls in February-March next year.

“We are going to states where Congress is unable to give a fight to BJP or regional parties,” said an AAP strategist.

“Moreover, we see a tacit understanding between the Congress and BJP when it comes to AAP. Arvind Kejriwal openly attacked the Modi government over Uttarakhand and Arunachal but if you see the language of Congress and BJP on the issues of advertisements and parliamentary secretary, their language is similar,” he said.

While the AAP decided against contesting the upcoming polls in Uttarakhand after rebellion within its ranks erupted in the hill state, the party has made significant inroads in Odisha.

For its part, the Congress is of the view that the AAP is working with the BJP-RSS to ensure a Congress-mukt Bharat.

The BJP seems to agree with this contention. “AAP will bring the Congress down and appears to be pushing them (Congress) in that direction with all its vigour. Congress party too is working overtime to fulfill the BJP’s dream of a Congress-mukt Bharat, which was also Mahatma Gandhi’s dream,” senior BJP leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Aurangzeb Naqshbandi covers politics and keeps a close watch on developments in Jammu & Kashmir. He has been a journalist for 16 years.

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