No election alliance with Congress in national capital: Gopal Rai
New Delhi: In an attempt to open its account in the Lok Sabha elections in the city, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has adopted constituency-wise strategy to target the rural population and other sections of the society to take on the “main rival,” BJP, in all seven seats.
Asserting that AAP is “single-handedly capable” of defeating BJP in Delhi, the city unit chief of the party, Gopal Rai, outright dismissed any chance of a pre-poll alliance with Congress in the national capital.
Mr Rai, who also holds the portfolios of labour, employment, and development in the Arvind Kejriwal government, said Congress was not in the fight in the Lok Sabha polls. AAP has only a “direct fight with BJP,” he said. “We are working on a constituency-specific strategy on all seven seats in Delhi in view of the Lok Sabha elections next year,” he told a news agency.
In the 2014 general elections, AAP had fielded its candidates on all seven seats in Delhi. However, none of them could secure a win. Talking about the party’s strategy for the northwest Delhi seat, Mr Rai said AAP had failed to receive support in rural pockets in the last Lok Sabha polls and now the party in-charge for the constituency, Gugan Singh, is focusing on these areas with extensive contact programmes.
AAP’s in-charge of Lok Sabha seats are most likely to be official candidates in the Lok Sabha polls to be held next year. He said the party’s in-charge for the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat, Pankaj Gupta, has started laying emphasis on small meetings with the electorate in the trader dominated borough. Union minister Harsh Vardhan had won this seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
According to the strategy for the East Delhi constituency, which has a mix of voters living in posh localities and unauthorised colonies, the party has adopted extensive outreach programmes to reach out to them. The senior AAP leader, Atishi, has been made the in-charge of the parliamentary seat.
Barring West Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party has announced the names of the in-charges for the remaining six Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. However, Mr Rai has made it clear that no MLA will be given ticket for this seat.
There is a buzz in the party that MLA (Uttam Nagar) Naresh Balyan will contest from the West Delhi Lok Sabha seat.
“The party will officially announce candidates on all the seven seats in Delhi, along with those in Haryana and Punjab, by January next year,” Mr Rai said.
In the 2015 Assembly polls, AAP got 54.34 per cent vote share while BJP and Congress had 32.19 per cent and 9.65 per cent votes respectively.