Will contest all seats in 2016 Assembly polls: AAP in Bengalhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/will-contest-all-seats-in-2016-assembly-polls-aap-in-bengal/

Will contest all seats in 2016 Assembly polls: AAP in Bengal

Despite Mamata praise, rules out any tie-up with Trinamool.

AAP supporters celebrate in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta)
AAP supporters celebrate in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta)

Buoyed by its impressive performance in the Delhi polls, AAP on Tuesday announced that it will get its party organisation ready in three months and contest all the 294 Assembly seats in the 2016 Bengal elections.

Alok Chaturvedi, senior AAP leader in the state, said: “The victory in New Delhi is the victory of democracy. It has replenished us with energy and a lot of our old members who had left, have returned to the party. We are in the process of ‘Mission Vistaar’ and within three months, will build necessary political infrastructure in Bengal.

Instead of getting a leader first and then working down to the booth level, the party intended to start working from the booth to the state level, added Chaturvedi — the party’s candidate from Kolkata (North) in the last Lok Sabha elections.

“At the moment, AAP does not even have a party spokesperson in Bengal. The party’s national leadership has instructed that as of now, Lok Sabha candidates will act as party spokespersons,” he said.

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Asked whether there was a possibility of an alliance between the AAP and the Trinamool Congress in view of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulating party chief Arvind Kejriwal for the Delhi win, AAP leader Suraj Narayan Singh said: “We humbly accept the good wishes from Mamata Banerjee but there is no possibility of any coalition with Trinamool.”

Singh, who contest from Howrah in the Lok Sabha polls, added that the party will not contest the upcoming municipal elections in the state. “We have around 70,000 members in Bengal. Our structure is not good enough at the moment to contest municipal elections. But we will fight the 2016 Assembly elections on issues like removal of corruption, implementation of swaraj and bringing in lokpal bill,” he said.

On the Saradha scam, Singh said “it would not be appropriate for him to comment as investigation was on in the case”. Asked if he thought the investigation was politically motivated, he said: “No. I don’t think it is politically motivated.” The leaders maintained that Kejriwal will come to Bengal to campaign for the 2016 polls in the state.

On Tuesday, supporters distributed sweets and smeared each other with colours to celebrate AAP’s win in Delhi. “We don’t want to fire crackers and make noise. We will celebrate our victory peacefully,” said Sabrez Aslam, a party leader.