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‘Hopeful’ AAP to contest 10 seats
The Aam Aadmi Party, after a meeting with its districts’ representatives on Sunday, declared it plans to contest on “about 8-10 Lok Sabha seats” from Bengal, while reiterating that the policy of AAP here, too, would be “to fight alone”.
“We are sifting through the applications and within a week we will select about eight to 10 names to be pitched from here,” AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta said, who also claimed the party has “bright prospects in the state,”
“From the discussions we have heard, I am pretty confident that in the near future AAP will emerge as a potent force here. How many seats we win is a matter of speculation but the kind of mood I have seen after meeting people is very encouraging,” Gupta said, adding that the aim would be “to fight against known corrupt candidates”.
He referred to this popularity by claiming that the AAP has received about 12,000 applications nationally for contesting polls and around 300 applications from Bengal. Gupta rued the fact that Anna Hazare backed (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee. “For us it is sad that Anna supported Mamata and not us. But the people of West Bengal have seen (AAP chief) Arvind Kejriwal and know his policies. They will have the last say.”
He accused the TMC of coming to power through “false assurances and muscle power”. “It is a combination of incumbency and expectation which Mamata might have generated but I personally feel people will now be disenchanted,” he said. He dismissed any idea of the AAP pitching film stars while clarifying that “there have been no such choices so far”. The AAP calls Kejriwal’s visit to Gujarat as an “intention to have a look at the so-called development highly publicised by the Gujarat government”.
“The myth that Gujarat has been a model in terms of development is busted. It is a misconception that it is ahead of other states,” he said, adding that attacks on Kejriwal prove the lack of security the state could provide to former CM.
Reacting to the smearing of ink on AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, he claimed it could be the result of political vendetta. “It might be the work of some group that feels threatened because of all the work that AAP had done and the popularity it has got in such a small time,” Gupta said.