LUCKNOW: After failing to leave a mark in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) has decided to expand its reach in Uttar Pradesh by participating in local body elections scheduled to take place later this year. According to AAP MP and party’s UP in-charge Sanjay Singh, they will soon launch a long campaign, focused on the prevailing corruption in civic bodies, as the party hopes to cash in on the anti-corruption issues it has been raising against the state government over the past two years.
AAP has been contesting elections in UP, including the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, and had also tried its luck by fighting its first local body elections in 2017. It won about 40 lakh votes across the state in the zila panchayat elections. The local body poll performance pushed the party to test poll waters in 2019 and then in 2022. However, this year’s Assembly elections came as a ruthless drubbing for the party, as most of its 403 candidates lost their security deposit. In a bipolar contest between BJP and SP, AAP got a vote share of just about four lakh, which was less than 1% of the total votes polled in the seven-phased Assembly election.
“The local body election is not about government formation. During the past two years, we have been exposing the BJP government over several issues. We have carved a noticeable space in the state. We will put this to test in the local body polls where we will try to show people what we are capable of,” said Singh, adding that the party aims to set up 12,000 ward committees across UP, of which around 5,000 are already in place.
In the next two months, AAP hopes to have a proper organisational structure in place, to will be followed by appointment of mohalla in-charge. On Friday, AAP held a meeting of the panchayat committee. This will be followed by meetings of the party’s youth wing, students’ wing and women’s wing.