Mumbai: Enthused by the strong showing in Delhi Assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to concentrate on the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.
“Our slogan is, AAP ka ye sandesh, aaj Dilli, kal pura desh,” AAP functionary Mayank Gandhi said in Mumbai.
“We will be fielding candidates from the 36 Assembly seats in Mumbai,” he said. “We haven’t yet decided the number of Lok Sabha seats we will contest from Mumbai,” he added.
Mumbai has six Lok Sabha seats. The Delhi results have boosted the morale of AAP members in the state, he said. The party plans to take up issues like open spaces and slum rehabilitation schemes in the city. Housing, electricity and water supply will also be the issues on which the party will focus.
“Voters are fed up of the indecisive, corrupt and non-functional government and are looking at the AAP as an alternative,” another AAP member said. To ensure good performance in the polls, the party is roping in youth through forums like social media.
Asked if the party had collected data about the performance, utilisation of government funds in Mumbai constituencies, and the alleged wrongdoings of the ruling Congress-National Congress Party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena MPs and MLAs, Gandhi said, “Yes, we have collected a lot of information.” There were reports that AAP activists, using RTI, have been collecting crucial data about utilization of MP and MLA funds, work carried out through Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) and district collectors’ offices, details of land deals and violations on use of government land.
The party is also preparing to contest the Haryana assembly elections next year. “We have started preparing for the polls, which we will contest independently,” AAP Haryana unit spokesperson Rajiv Godara said on Tuesday. He said that after the party’s stunning performance in the Delhi assembly polls, they are confident of a good show in the elections to 90-member Haryana assembly. In the polls, he said the party will raise the issues of alleged land scams, corruption and poor medical and education facilities in the state. Congress is the ruling party in Haryana while the other major players include Indian National Lok Dal, Haryana Janhit Congress and the BJP.
However, when asked if the party would also contest on the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana in 2014, Godara said the party’s central leadership will take a decision on this. Asked about reports that AAP has invited senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who was recently chargesheeted by the Haryana government in connection with cancellation of mutation of a land deal involving Robert Vadra and DLF, to lead the party in the state assembly polls, Godara said they would want honest and upright people like him to come forward.
“We want people like Ashok Khemka, who are honest and have started a crusade to root out corruption, to come forward. We extend an open invite to him...,” he said. When contacted, Khemka, however, said “I refuse to react to this media story”. Godara said that many of the AAP candidates who have won in Delhi assembly polls belong to Haryana, which is bound to have a positive impact on the state polls.
Moreover, the party founder, Arvind Kejriwal and national executive member Yogendra Yadav are also from Haryana, he said. He said that AAP has district level committees in place while 13-member state executive committee had also been elected earlier. The process to constitute the Block committees is going on, he informed.