After springing a surprise by winning four seats in Punjab in the Lok Sabha elections, Aam Aadmi Party has been recognised as a state party.
The news comes as a breather to the party that has witnessed discontent within its cadre and desertion by a few known faces after its overall poor show in the Lok Sabha elections including a drubbing in Delhi. "On the basis of the review of poll performance of the Aam Aadmi Party at the General election to the Lok Sabha, 2014, it is seen that the party presently recognised as the state party in the NCT of Delhi with Broom as its symbol has fulfilled conditions laid down in Para 6 of the Election Symbol Order 1968 for recognition as a state party in Punjab," the EC said in a letter to the party. "Accordingly, the Commission has recognised the Aam Aadmi Party as the state party in Punjab," the letter, posted on the party's Twitter handle, said.
To be recognised as a state party, it has to poll a minimum of 6 per cent of votes in that particular state in either general or state assembly elections.
In the Lok Sabha elections, AAP candidate Dharam Vira Gandhi upset Union minister Preneet Kaur from Patiala, a Congress bastion. The three other AAP winners were Sadu Singh (Faridkot), Harinder Singh Khalsa (Fatehgarh Sahib) and Bhagwant Mann (Sangrur).
AAP garnered 24.4 per cent of the total votes in Punjab and secured a lead in some 33 Assembly segments while coming second in 25 others. It bagged two per cent lesser votes than the ruling SAD, which got over 26 per cent votes. Despite the high vote share of 33 per cent, Congress managed to win only three seats while AAP and SAD both won 4 seats each and BJP bagged two seats with a vote share of 8.7 per cent.
AAP has also decided to focus on the assembly elections in Punjab. National convener Arvind Kejriwal, senior leader Manish Sisodia and Jarnail Singh, who unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha election from West Delhi, will visit the state tomorrow and meet volunteers to further the process of restructuring the party in the state.