DEHRADUN: Enthused by its landslide victory in the Delhi assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced a new Uttarakhand state unit with an eye on the 2022 state assembly elections.
Dinesh Mohaniya, the MLA from Delhi's Sangam Vihar, has been appointed chief of the Uttarakhand unit.
“We aim to work with honesty and dedication for the people of Uttarakhand as we did for the people of Delhi. We promise to cease corruption in Uttarakhand and provide every essential facility to the people such as power, water, health and education,” said Mohaniya speaking over the phone from Delhi.
The party has also launched a membership campaign through a missed call to make members. “We have received an overwhelming response with lakhs of missed calls and hope people trust us to form the government in Uttarakhand,” said the three-time MLA.
Experts dubbed the move a red flag for both the BJP and Congress as the AAP can eat into the vote share of both the parties, becoming a decisive factor in 2022.
Adhir Yadav, a political commentator from Dehradun, said, “People from the entire nation have witnessed the work of the AAP in Delhi. This has created credibility for the party which may translate into votes, no matter the volume. Those votes will be from the vote share of the BJP and Congress.”
However, the BJP and Congress both termed the party insignificant in the state.
Congress state vice president Suryakant Dhasmana said, “The state has always favoured either the Congress or the BJP. There is no space for regional parties in Uttarakhand. The electoral history of the state explains that clearly.”
Devendra Bhasin, BJP state vice president, said, “People of the state trust our party and the government and the AAP is not going to affect us at all.”
After the 2014 general elections, it will be the first time the party will contest elections in the hill state. The party fielded candidates in all five Lok Sabha constituencies but failed to win any of them.
Following the electoral disaster, the party decided not to contest the 2017 state assembly elections in which the BJP scored a landslide victory. In 2018, it fielded a transgender candidate Rajni Rawat for the mayoral post of Dehradun who stood a distant third behind the BJP and Congress.