After sparring with Narendra Modi in Varanasi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will now be shifting its focus to the Gandhi family’s borough of Amethi with a host of senior party leaders, led by former Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, set to give a boost to the campaign of Kumar Vishwas, the party’s poet-candidate, who is camping here for over two months now
“Preparations are on in full swing to accord a grand welcome to Arvind Kejriwal,” said AAP’s Amethi spokesperson Pankaj Shukla, adding the AAP chief will hold roadshows in Amethi for three days beginning Sunday
Besides Kejriwal, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is pitted against BJP’s vice-president Smriti Irani from the seat.
AAP designated numerous party workers from Delhi, including ministers and MLAs, for Varanasi and Amethi as soon as polling culminated in Delhi on April 10.
In Amethi, former Delhi Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj and Health Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain are in the thick of preparations. “I’m feeling the same undercurrent that I felt in Delhi,” says Bhardwaj, who has been camping here for almost a week. “I’ve been to the interiors of Amethi and the people want to uproot Rahul Gandhi,” he says. Saurabh has been working in the Shahgarh block of Gauriganj assembly constituency while Satyendra is helping AAP’s central team in Amethi with coordination.
“Kumar has cultivated a strong base through his inimitable style of communication, poetry and the imagery of party’s broom symbol,” Bhardwaj said.
Also assisting are AAP’s Delhi assembly election candidates such as Shazia Ilmi, Kapil Kumar Dhama and Narender Singh Sejwal.
Ilmi, who reached Amethi on 17th, took part in Kumar’s Friday protest at Gauriganj police station. Kapil Dhama, who has been in Amethi since 12th, said AAP has a strong network in Amethi but coordination needs some work. “Ahead of Arvind’s camp, we are utilising our Delhi experience to strengthen his road shows,” he said. Task masters such as party’s national treasurer Krishan Kant Sevada and chief of AAP’s law cell Rishikesh Kumar are also in Amethi.
Kejriwal is scheduled to start his road show at 8 am Sunday from Tikar Mafi, stopping at about a dozen locations, before culminating it 4:30pm in Gauriganj.
The AAP chief will camp again in Amethi on May 1-2, days before the seat goes to poll on May 7. In between, Manish Sisodia will also boost Kumar’s campaign between April 27 and April 29 and is likely to be accompanied with former Delhi minister Rakhi Birla. “Our aim is to cover as much ground as possible in the five assembly constituencies through Kejriwal’s visits,” said Pankaj Shukla.