Gul Panag may have finished third in Chandigarh in last year’s Lok Sabha election, but she played an important role in Aam Aadmi Party’s landslide victory in Delhi, both as a strategist and a star campaigner. She helped in preparing AAP’s blueprint on women’s safety and security, and also energised the campaign in Delhi streets on her favourite Bullet bike and attracted huge crowd.
Elated after the party’s massive victory, Gul Panag told Chandigarh Newsline on the phone, “Such a massive number was not expected. The credit goes to our young volunteers who worked relentlessly and regained the faith of the people.”
However, she clarified that she was fully committed to Chandigarh. After the Delhi mission, her focus would now be to expand the party’s base in Chandigarh in the next few months and start a close connect with the city residents.
Gul Panag said that an ad-hoc party committee, in which she is a member, would soon begin the process of engaging volunteers, at least 10 in each of the city’s 520 booths, and then set up a democratically elected local structure.
“I am expecting that the process of engaging volunteers should be over by June or July and then the party will hold election,” she added.
She attributted the historic win in Delhi “to our positive and issued-based campaign, we did not indulge in negative campaigning even as BJP did try to drag us into a blame game.” However, at the end of the day, it was a big team effort and our volunteers from Chandigarh also did a fantastic job, Gul said.
“I remember when we began the campaign in November through public meetings, the party was at its lowest. People were deserting us but then we began the process of evaluation and went ahead among the people with humility,” she recalled. She added: “What clicked for us was the fact that we quickly learnt from our mistakes and evolved ourselves. Even our leader Arvind Kejriwal apologised several times to the Delhi people for our short stint in the government.”
“Where do you see mainstream parties conceding for their major blunders?” Gul asked.
As the election results came in , AAP vounlteers in the Tricity erupted in joy. Chandigarh unit carried out a victory procession that commenced from party office in Sector 41 and passed through Sector 42, Attawa, Sector 35, Sectors 17, 16,15, Sector 25, Bhasker colony, Sectors 24 and 23, before concluding in Sector 22 Nehru Park.
During the procession, the party wokers distributed 1,000 kg sweets in the city. AAP workers in Panchkula and Mohali also held public meetings.