Fight will be between AAP and BJP, says Kejriwal

With its membership exceeding 20 lakh, including 12 lakh new members in the last five days, the Aam Aadmi Party has now scaled up its national ambitions. AAP leaders have said that the party could contest 400 seats or more in the general election if they get the right candidates. Of the “thousands of applications’’ the party has received so far for AAP ticket, 182 have been found “valid”.

The party has set a target of enrolling one crore members by January 26. For the AAP to be recognised as a national party it needs to have recognition in at least four States.

Despite BSP leader Mayawati’s attack on the AAP at her Lucknow rally on Wednesday and Congress leader Salman Khurshid dubbing it “anarchist”, the membership drive has infused new confidence in the party. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has declared that the 2014 Lok Sabha election will be fought between the AAP and the BJP.

National executive member Gopal Rai said the party was receiving enthusiastic response in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and even in southern States. “Within four days of the launch of the ‘Main bhi aam aadmi’ campaign, over 10 lakh people joined the party. In south India, a large number of people from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had become members,” he said.

Any member of the AAP can apply for ticket by filling a form available on the party’s website.

The form, besides seeking details of the applicant, will have to be endorsed by 100 people from each Assembly segment in the parliamentary constituency. This not only gives an idea about the candidate, but also gets the party more supporters.

On Tuesday, the party got a big boost when Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar declared in Mumbai that the NBA as well as the National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement would back the AAP in the general election. Mr. Rai said among the new members was former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s grandson Adarsh Shastri.

Correction

>>The last sentence of the report, “AAP to contest over 400 seats” (Jan. 16, 2014), read: “Mr. [Gopal] Rai said among the new members was former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s son Adarsh Shastri.” It should have been grandson.

Keywords: AAPArvind Kejriwal

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