Arvind Kejriwal, Bhagwant Mann head to Ahmedabad as AAP focuses on Poll-bound Gujarat

Buoyed by its landslide win in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) now plans to focus its energies on Gujarat, which goes to polls later this year.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann are scheduled to visit Ahmedabad on April 2 and are expected to hold a roadshow in the city.

“Arvindji will now totally focus on Gujarat and is expected to visit the state two to three times a month in coming days,” said Isudan Gadhvi, senior AAP leader from Gujarat.

The AAP has been making inroads in the state steadily and had put up a strong show in the civic elections, emerging as the opposition in the Surat Municipal Corporation. While the rise of the AAP in the state has largely been at the cost of the Congress, senior AAP leaders maintain that the Congress had lost the chance in 2017, when the party rode the wave of the Patidar agitation and saw its highest ever tally in more than two-and-a-half decades, bringing the BJP to double digits in the 182 seats assembly.

“But the result was essentially an outcome of agitation and the Congress on its own could do nothing to ensure BJP’s defeat,” said an AAP leader, pointing out that the erosion of Congress legislators had since continued. As a matter of fact, speculation of at least 10 more Congress MLAs defecting to the BJP in Gujarat is now doing the rounds with Sanyam Lodha, an independent MLA from Sirohi, Rajasthan, alerting the Congress on this.

Meanwhile, the AAP has been steadily expanding its base in the state. According to Gadhvi, the party had already appointed booth-in-charge for 32,000 of the state’s about 52000 polling booths.

“Over the last eight months, we have gone on to set up committees across districts, blocks and village levels and finally appointed 138 assembly in-charges who have already been given adequate training,” Gadhvi told ET.

Right after AAP’s electoral win in Punjab, party posters came up across Ahmedabad, signifying its intent to contest the Gujarat election with all its might. People in the know said a team of party operatives would soon reach Ahmedabad to add heft to the campaigning process.

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