Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, upbeat over its sweeping victory in Punjab and a foothold in Goa, is taking a second shot at Gujarat, where elections are due later this year. The party has planned a series of programmes starting tomorrow in the state, which has been ruled by the BJP since 1995.
The Delhi Chief Minister and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann have already reached Ahmedabad on a two-day visit.
Tomorrow they will visit the Sabarmati Ashram and then hold a two-kilometre roadshow, which the party is calling “Tiranga Yatra”. On Sunday, a visit to Ahmedabad’s Swaminarayan Temple has been scheduled.
In light of recent attack on Mr Kejriwal’s residence in Delhi, AAP’s Gujarat unit has asked the Ahmedabad police chief to take extra measures for safety and security of the two leaders.
Mr Kejriwal had declared last year that AAP will contest all 182 assembly seats in Gujarat.
The party had also performed well in the local bodies elections held in March last year. AAP won 42 seats — 31 seats in Taluka Panchayats, nine in municipalities and two district panchayat seats.
AAP made its debut in Gujarat in the 2017 assembly polls, but was unable to win a single seat. All its 29 candidates had lost their deposits as the party’s best-known faces — Mr Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia — failed to turn up for campaigning.
This time, Mr Kejriwal had made an early start, holding a roadshow in Surat soon after last year’s civic polls.
The BJP, which revved up its campaign a day after assembly election results with a rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had declared that AAP is more of a competition for the Congress.
Mr Kejriwal had hit back citing the party’s track record in Delhi, where it won only 28 seats in the first election it contested and went on to sweep the city with 67 of its 70 seats.
In the last year’s elections, AAP practically did a repeat performance in Delhi. This year, it was the turn of Punjab, where it swept the Congress, BJP and the Akali Dal to the margins. In Goa, it opened its account with two seats in the recently concluded assembly elections.