The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday said it is ready for the Himachal Pradesh elections and fully confident of getting the people's mandate after the Election Commission announced the schedule of the assembly polls in the hill state. Himachal Pradesh will go to polls on November 12 and the counting of votes will take place on December 8, the poll panel said on Friday.
"We are ready for the elections," AAP leader Durgesh Pathak said at a press conference when asked for his party's reaction to the announcement. He said teams formed by the party in every village of Himachal Pradesh have been "working hard" to reach out to the masses and convey the AAP's message to the electors.
Pathak is an MLA from Delhi's Rajinder Nagar and a member of the AAP's political affairs committee, the highest decision-making body of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. "I am fully confident that the way the Congress and the BJP have looted the state during their respective reins, people of Himachal Pradesh will definitely give a chance to AAP this time after looking at the work done by the Kejriwal government in Delhi," Pathak said.
The same "amazing work" is now being done by the AAP government in Punjab under Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, he added. Politics in Himachal Pradesh has remained bipolar so far with the Congress and the BJP remaining the main contenders to the throne.
The hill state, which is currently ruled by the BJP, is set to witness a three-cornered fight this time with the Kejriwal-led AAP joining the fray, riding on its stupendous victory in Punjab elections earlier this year. The AAP is gearing up to contest all seats in the assembly polls. Himachal Pradesh has a 68-member assembly and the BJP won a clear majority by winning 44 seats in the 2017 elections. The Congress managed to win 21 seats, Independents bagged two seats and the CPI(M) emerged victorious on one seat. According to the Election Commission, over 55 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in upcoming elections in the hill state.