‘If AAP can do it, we can too’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/if-aap-can-do-it-we-can-too/

‘If AAP can do it, we can too’

Demoralised following loss in LS, state polls parties in Pune enthused by AAP’s win.

aap, aap pune, aam aadmi party
Aam Aadmi Party volunteers celebrate the Delhi victory, near the party’s Pune office on Tuesday. (Source: Express Photo by Amit Ruke)

AAP sweeping the Delhi Assembly elections bagging 67 of the 70 seats has breathed new life into the rank and file of several parties that had been demoralised by the BJP win in Maharashtra elections— it won all the ight seats in Pune city— following its victory in the Lok Sabha polls. The AAP feat has given fresh hope to these parties preparing for the 2007 civic polls. If AAP can do it, they can, too, is the mantra.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) halting the winning streak of the BJP has enthused workers of all political parties in the city other than the BJP.

“AAP had to step down from power in Delhi after 49 days. It had to face a lot of criticism and could not get success in the Lok Sabha elections. However, they were not demoralised and hit back to give a splendid performance in the Delhi Assembly elections. This is a lesson for the Congress,” said Ramesh Iyer, Congress state spokesperson and general secretary of the city unit of the party.

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AAP had worked hard to reach out to voters, he said adding, “Reaching out to the masses by establishing a strong network is something to be stressed. The Congress has been witnessing a downfall in the city in the last few years and should get back to basics of working among the public to win back their confidence. AAP has raised our hopes as our party has a ground level network and we only need to work on it.”

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The NCP is in power in the PMC but failure to win a single seat from Pune city in the Maharashtra assembly election hurt the party. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had mentioned in a recent meeting that the party did not win a single seat in major cities, including Pune. He had asked party leaders to work for urban voters while providing support to the youth, students and women’s wing of the party.

“The NCP chief pumped energy into the party cadre during the two-day meet. It was all about connecting with voters, and a young party cadre. The Delhi Assembly result has given a push to the NCP cadre to work hard to take on the BJP in the civic polls,” said an NCP leader.

The Shiv Sena, an alliance partner in the BJP-led government in Maharashtra and the centre, had been unable to come to terms with the fact that there is no Sena representation in the assembly from Pune city. It had recently appointed a former legislator as the city unit chief to stop the decline of the Sena in the city. “The BJP cadre were cordial to Sena workers in the run-up to the elections but their behaviour changed after all the seats in the city were won by BJP candidates. If AAP can defeat them in Delhi then it can be defeated in the city,” said a Sena leader adding that the city unit of the party would get more aggressive in city politics, to take on an upbeat BJP.

The MNS gained in the city in the last few years but the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections displayed its decline in popularity. “The MNS is a party taking on established political parties in the state. We made a good start initially but did not perform as expected in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. This affected the morale of party workers but the AAP victory has shown us the way of working hard to regain support of voters in civic polls,” said MNS leader Ravindra Dhangekar.