Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the party will contest elections in six states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. He made the announcement at the ninth National Council meeting of the Aam Aadmi Party.
"Other parties have no vision and that is why they are talking about the past. AAP is the only party talking about the future and has the vision of 21st and 22nd century,” Kejriwal said. ”In next two years, AAP will be contesting elections in six states – UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat,” the AAP national convenor said.
Kejriwal urged AAP members to strengthen the party at grassroots level. ”I urge party members to strengthen grassroots-level hold of the party across the country. The organisation has to be strengthened on a very large scale. The country is important for us and AAP is the vehicle and we need to work towards the development of the party,” he added.
Kejriwal also expressed his concern over the farmers' parade violence on Republic Day. "The violence of January 26 is unfortunate and strict action should be taken against anyone who is actually responsible for it. Whatever happened on that day cannot stop this movement. We all should support farmers but in a peaceful manner," he said.
AAP also declared that it would contest all the 117 seats in agriculture-centric Punjab - where it is the second-largest party with 19 seats after Congress. More recently, it said it would also fight the local civic body polls scheduled in the state in February. The party has attacked BJP for being "anti-farmer" besides locking horns with Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
Earlier, in December while announcing the decision to contest polls in Uttar Pradash, Arvind Kejriwal said, "Many brothers and sisters of Uttar Pradesh live in Delhi. When AAP formed government third time in Delhi, then many people belonging to UP gave us suggestions that we should contest polls in the state. They said that they were unhappy with the present parties in the state." UP will head to assembly polls in 2022.
As party leaders of AAP have been traveling across states from UP to Uttarakhand, Punjab to Gujarat, expert suggests that it could be a move to locate the party beyond the boundaries of Delhi and getting a national party status before the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls.