AAP’s 2019 preparation begins, four MLAs ‘being considered’

The party’s Delhi convener, Gopal Rai, met party members from all seven Lok Sabha constituencies in December, outlining plans to strengthen booth-level engagement.

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi | Updated: January 11, 2018 1:32 am
AAP, Lok sabha elections, general elections 2019, AAP candidates, AAP general assembly candidates, indian express news Delhi AAP convener Gopal Rai (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

With meetings between MLAs and senior party volunteers running through December, the AAP is readying itself for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The party’s Delhi convener, Gopal Rai, met party members from all seven Lok Sabha constituencies in December, outlining plans to strengthen booth-level engagement. All seven seats were swept by the BJP in 2014.

Party sources said the names of “at least four MLAs” are being considered as AAP candidates for the general elections.

In 2014, three MLAs had got tickets for the Lok Sabha polls — Mangolpuri MLA Rakhi Birla from northwest Delhi; former Rajouri Garden MLA Jarnail Singh from west Delhi; and Bijwasan MLA Devender Sehrawat from south Delhi. Senior party leader Ashutosh had contested from Chandni Chowk, Rajmohan Gandhi from east Delhi, Ashish Khetan from New Delhi, and former party member Anand Kumar from northeast Delhi.

While Anand Kumar left the party after a fallout in 2015, Sehrawat was suspended from AAP’s primary membership in 2016. Jarnail Singh contested the Punjab Assembly elections and lost, and is unlikely to be repeated as a candidate, a senior party official said, adding, “As for Rajmohan Gandhi, age might be an issue. The polls are still a while away, so the discussion of names is at a preliminary stage.”

Ashutosh said the preparations were on and several names were being discussed. “It is early to take a final decision but work has started on the ground. The decision whether or not to field me again rests entirely with the party, and the issue has not been discussed with me yet,” he said.

Party sources said that one contestant from 2014 who stands a strong chance to get a ticket in 2019 is Rakhi Birla.

“In 2014, people had seen the work of only a few MLAs, and that too for a few months. This time, we have the benefit of having had MLAs in the field and connecting with the electorate since 2015. The most popular MLAs have a chance at getting a ticket. The party brought in outsiders for two Rajya Sabha seats, but general elections are a different ball game. People need to identify with the candidates. A few MLAs have already been given indications and have been asked to visit Lok Sabha constituencies regularly,” a senior party leader said.

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  1. Rakesh Katyal
    Jan 12, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    No Guptajis here ?? WHy discussions are required, they should just wait for Kejri farmaan.
    (1)(0)
    Reply
    1. Pais Hilary
      Jan 11, 2018 at 12:54 pm
      The party has a very good chance of winning all the 7 seats.
      (8)(11)
      Reply
      1. Achuta Bhat
        Jan 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm
        Sarcastic statement?
        (3)(2)
        Reply
        1. Rakesh Katyal
          Jan 12, 2018 at 12:46 pm
          Will be difficult to find 7 Guptas ??
          (1)(0)
          Reply
        2. Pais Hilary
          Jan 11, 2018 at 12:53 pm
          Absolutely certain that Delhi police will initiate cases and the CBI will commence investigation against prospective candidates. Those are the typical tactics employed by this central government.
          (6)(2)
          Reply
          1. Surya Prakash Sharma
            Jan 11, 2018 at 10:06 am
            PLEASE concentrate on the candidates who can withstand the shock of DEPOSIT FORFEITURE OR ELSE THEY MAY CRUMBLE ON THE COUNTING BOOTH ITSELF and BRING A BAD PUBLICITY TO THE PARTY
            (7)(5)
            Reply