After its fantastic performance in the New Delhi Assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could prove to be a game-changer in the Lok Sabha election in neighbouring UP, too. AAP sources say the party is preparing to contest all 80 seats in UP, and the process of short-listing candidates has already begun. Political watchers say AAP could play havoc with the political calculus of established parties, and queer the pitch for both the national parties, BJP and Congress, as government formation at the Centre largely depends on UP results.
If the speed with which common people are making a bee line to join AAP is any indication, the party could prove to be a crucial factor in the state. AAP’s Awadh zone co-ordinator Aruna Singh says over 20,000 people joined the party in the past 15 days in this zone alone. “We are planning to contest the seats where we get strong candidates,” she says, adding the party leadership is yet to decide on contesting all seats in UP.
Another AAP leader reveals the party will begin its election campaign in UP from Amethi from where party leader Kumar Vishwas will challenge Rahul Gandhi. AAP will release a different manifesto for each district, in line with the party’s strategy which worked wonders in New Delhi.
“Teams are being sent out to all districts to survey and get feedback on issues directly affecting the people so that we can draft meaningful manifestoes for each district,” he said.
Political circles here are already abuzz with talk of the “AAP factor” and how it would affect the electoral scenario in UP. “I can’t say whether it will win a sizeable number of seats but it will definitely ensure the defeat of many rivals. It will definitely be a major factor,” says JN Shukla, senior journalist and anti-corruption campaigner.