Fresh off its resounding victory in the Delhi Assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) Maharashtra unit has declared its intention of contesting the upcoming local body elections in the state, said Preeti Sharma Menon, head of the party’s state unit. To start with, the party will field candidates for the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, which goes to polls soon.
AAP’s tryst with electoral politics in Maharashtra has not seen much success. The party had fielded candidates in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but most of its candidates ended up losing their deposits. AAP also fielded candidates in the 2019 Assembly elections, but failed to make a mark. The state unit also faced its own share of internal bickering but managed to put it behind, and in the last few years, the party has put up an united front.
AAP workers have also actively participated in various public movements, such as the fight to save the thousands of trees being felled to build the Metro car shed in Aarey in Mumbai.
Sharma Menon said the party will approach voters “with all humility” and ask them to choose the party for a new brand of politics.
In the wake of AAP’s victory in Delhi, its third win in the national capital, Sharma Menon said the party has received many requests from across the country from people keen to join AAP. “We have started a helpline — 9871010101 — to unite and connect all like-minded people to join this political revolution and achieve the dream of a corruption-free India. We staunchly reject corruption and our focus lies only on work and policies, whose ultimate beneficiaries should be the people of our country,” she said.
Asked about the possibility of an alliance with the Congress or other parties in the state, she ruled it out.
AAP leaders said the party wanted to increase its presence and membership in the state. “More people will join us and this will allow us to create a strong cadre base,” said a party leader.
Sharma Menon said while the party will fight both urban and rural local body polls, its focus would be on urban areas.
AAP volunteers from Maharashtra had travelled to Delhi to campaign for the party for the Assembly elections. Many local members had also played an important role in the party’s social media outreach.
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