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AAP eyes expansion after second sweep in Delhi, launches volunteer campaign

FE Online

Days after winning back Delhi with a historic mandate, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has decided to expand its base beyond the national capital and fight state and local body polls across the country. The AAP has called a meeting of its national executive later this week to deliberate the expansion of the party. In an interview to PTI, senior AAP leader and former minister Gopal Rai said that the AAP would contest local body polls and as well as assembly elections in a number of states including Punjab.

Spelling out the agenda of the meeting called on Sunday, Gopal Rai said that the party would discuss the expansion of organisation by bringing volunteers and building cadre across India. He further said that the people will now be able to join his party’s ‘nation-building campaign’ by giving a missed call on a dedicated phone number - 9871010101. Rai also told the news agency that his party would reach out to people through the nation-building campaign and make them volunteers. He said that his party would contest upcoming local bodies polls in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

The AAP has now emerged a powerful regional force in Delhi with its stunning comeback for the third consecutive term. In the assembly polls held earlier this month, the AAP bagged 62 of 70 seats with close to 54% vote share. The victory was expected but the scale was surprising as the AAP had lost all seven Lok Sabha constituencies just a year ago in 2019. This will be the second time the AAP would be trying to expand its footprints across the country.

Arvind Kejriwal did try to expand his party after winning Delhi in 2013. In 2014, the AAP fielded 434 candidates but could win just four seats with less than 2% of total votes polled across the country. Later, the party contested assembly polls in Goa and Punjab. It completely failed in Goa but won 20 seats in Punjab. In the last Lok Sabha polls, the AAP fielded 40 candidates but could win just 1 seat.