Politics & Governance

As it strives to broaden its base, AAP to celebrate its triumph for Punjab in Chhattisgarh


In 2018, the AAP ran for 85 of the 90 assembly seats in Chhattisgarh but did not win a single one.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will hold a march in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, on Monday to commemorate its triumph over the Congress in Punjab earlier this month. Gopal Rai, a Delhi minister, and AAP leader has conducted meetings to explore plans for the 2023 Chhattisgarh elections, and the party’s state office would be established in Raipur.

In 2018, the AAP ran for 85 of the 90 assembly seats in Chhattisgarh but failed to win even one. With 68 seats in the House of Representatives, Congress surged to power. Only 15 seats were won by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while Ajit Jogi’s Janata Party Chhattisgarh and the Bahujan Samaj Party combination gained seven. AAP leaders predict that in the 2023 elections, they will be able to defeat the BJP and Congress. Komal Hupendi, the state AAP president, said the party is now focusing on a membership drive. “The AAP is striving to develop booth-level cadres, and we are confident that the party will be in a commanding position to fight both the Congress and the BJP before the elections.”

According to Hupendi, both the BJP and Congress have failed to handle the state’s challenges. “The BJP controlled for 15 years but accomplished nothing significant. Congress has duped the public…its accomplishments are limited to banners and hoardings… People have realized this and are now yearning for a better option, such as us.” 

Hupendi alleged that both BJP and Congress leaders were in contact with them. “I can’t give you any names, but we’re in contact with a number of prominent Congress and BJP figures…” As per one of the Congress leaders who spoke on the condition of anonymity, there is political space in Chhattisgarh after Jogi’s death, which AAP is attempting to fill. “After their victory in Punjab, they (AAP) are attempting to focus on Chhattisgarh…Congress and BJP officials are considering AAP as a viable option.”

According to BJP leader Sachchidanand Upasane, the AAP won no seats in 2018 and would do so again in 2023. “In the state, there is no room for a third party… Because the people of the state are fed up with Congress, we are winning elections… “It’s merely that the AAP is ecstatic with Punjab’s victory,” Upasane explained. AAP is skilled at creating election tactics, according to political expert Sudeip Shrivastava. “It presents itself as a viable alternative to existing political parties.” AAP may be influential in urban areas and eat into BJP support, but it would weaken the ruling party overall in Chhattisgarh.”

Another political expert, Parivesh Mishra, believes that the state could see the development of a third player. “…late Vidya Charan Shukla and Ajit Jogi attempted but were unsuccessful.” He addressed reports of possible AAP defections, claiming that politicians have moved parties.

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