DEHRADUN: Upbeat after sweeping the Assembly elections and keen to extend its footprints beyond the territorial limits of the national capital, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has set sights on electoral gains in faraway Uttarakhand. The Himalayan state is scheduled to go to polls in March 2022.
The buzz around its national ambitions started gaining ground after the Arvind Kejriwal-led party roared back to the hustings on the back of a resounding mandate. While the final tally put the AAP at a commanding 62 seats, the BJP, which was bidding to unseat the former from power, had to settle for just 8 seats.
The Congress failed to open its account, in a repeat of its dismal 2015 show.
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The AAP’s Uttarakhand unit on Wednesday declared that the party would field candidates from all 70 Assembly constituencies in the state. Rakesh Sinha, president of the AAP’s Uttarakhand unit, said, “Rampant corruption in every level of governance and administration has plagued the hill state since it was founded on November 9, 2000. It’s been two decades since Uttarakhand became a separate state and we still haven’t been able to provide basic amenities to the people. There are the ones the statehood was for. We will fight the elections on the promise of rooting out corruption.”
The party said it would also replicate the public welfare initiatives of his Delhi unit, including free electricity and water supply, which are believed to have been central to the party’s Delhi sweep.
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It also announced the launch of a WhatsApp number to enable the people to stay in touch with the party. It also launched a membership drive on Tuesday, with an aim of gaining a foothold in all 13 districts of the state.
Hitting out at the BJP and Congress, which had been taking turns to holding the reins of the state since its inception, the AAP leaders accused the two parties of robbing the state of its natural resources and putting it at risk of natural disasters.
Adhir Yadav, a Dehradun-based political commentator, termed the AAP’s move as an attempt to present a third alternative to the people.
“The AAP is trying to project itself as a third alternative, apart from the Congress and BJP. However, history is not on its side as the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, a regional party, lost its hold of the state despite contributing significantly to the statehood movement,” Yadav said.