The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is looking to expand its base in six major states going for polls in the next one and a half years. Assembly elections in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will be held in 2022 and AAP has announced to contest polls in all the six states. Punjab is the only state where the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is a major player.
However, the inroads it made in Gujarat in the local body polls boosted AAP’s morale to fight the BJP in its home turf. While, AAP had contested most of these six states unsuccessfully in 2017, the party this time hopes to ride on Kejriwal’s popularity after he repeated his landslide victory in Delhi in February 2020 to become the Chief Minister of the national capital city for the third time.
Moreover, the AAP is promoting the ‘Delhi model’ to position itself as an alternative to Congress and BJP. AAP is also riding high after gaining political mileage over its free electricity policy in Delhi. Therefore, the party has promised free power upto 300 units in both Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Kejriwal had visited Punjab late last month and promised to implement the Delhi model which it termed as quality access to free education, healthcare and electricity. AAP also wants to cash in on the farmers’ anger in the state. The party is already in the Opposition in Punjab and wants to wrest it from the shaky clutches of Congress’s Amarinder Singh who is facing an in-house rivalry from Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Goa, too, is on the wish list of AAP and Kejriwal is visiting the tiny but crucial state today. Ahead of his tour, Kejriwal said Goa wants change and honest politics. AAP also wants to emerge as a major party in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. AAP opened its account during the municipality polls in Gujarat earlier this year, and it has come as a confidence-booster for AAP.
Meanwhile, AAP will also fight polls in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. The party is striving to make its presence felt there.