The Aam Aadmi Party is considering fielding a few of its Lok Sabha candidates in the Assembly polls as well, sources said. Among names being discussed are those of the party’s East Delhi candidate Atishi and South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha, it is learnt.
BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats by a sizeable margin in Delhi last month. While Chadha had secured the second highest vote share, Atishi finished third behind BJP and Congress.
“Discussions are at a preliminary stage, but the party is looking into the option. Lok Sabha candidates have campaigned extensively in these areas for over six months and have built connections with people there. The party thinks it might be useful in the Assembly elections as well,” said a party leader on the condition of anonymity.
Sitting AAP MLAs from Gandhi Nagar in East Delhi, Anil Bajpai, and Bijwasan in South Delhi, Devinder Sehrawat, joined the BJP days before the Lok Sabha polls.
Both Atishi and Chadha, however, did not perform well in the Assembly segments. Gandhi Nagar is seen as a Congress stronghold, with its Lok Sabha candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely winning several Assembly elections from the constituency. Bijwasan has traditionally supported BJP candidates.
When contacted, Chadha refused to comment while Atishi did not respond.
Sources said the Jangpura seat is also being considered as an option for Atishi. AAP has won the Jangpura seat twice — both in 2013 and 2015.
“The Jangpura seat has been among the safer ones for us. The current MLA, Praveen Kumar, is also very popular there. The party is looking at all options, but favours a seat for Atishi in East Delhi, as she has already visited all Assembly segments several times there,” the party leader said.
In the past, AAP leaders have expressed confidence that they will do well in Assembly polls, scheduled in early 2020. After the Lok Sabha defeat, the party pegged its loss — where its vote share at 18% fell behind Congress’s for the first time since the party’s inception — to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity. It also came out with the slogan ‘Dilli main toh Kejriwal’.