Fighting local elections, building organisation in weaker areas, surveys and meetings with workers and candidates to identify what went wrong — these are the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) plans for three out of the four States where they had fought the Assembly elections and failed to form the government, party leaders told The Hindu .
AAP had contested Assembly elections in Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In Punjab, the party swept the polls by winning 92 out of 117 seats, whereas in Goa it won two seats. But in the two other States, it failed to notch up a single seat.
Several party insiders also pointed out that AAP was unable to turn the election into ‘AAP versus BJP’ in these States. Moreover, not having a strong organisational structure hurt the party in many areas. So, forming committees in every booth in these States will be a top priority, leaders said.
But the huge win in Punjab has given a morale boost to the party workers across the country, they said.
Talking about Goa, Durgesh Pathak, who is in-charge of AAP’s national organisation building team, said they are in the process of taking feedback from workers and candidates.
“From March 25-27, I will be visiting Goa. We will plan on how to go forward. Also, there will be restructuring of party posts and we will be inducting new faces. In Goa, the party will also fight panchayat elections in April-May next year,” he said.
He added it is a big deal for the party that it has opened its account in Goa and won two seats and they are taking it “very positively”.
Sanjay Singh, party in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, said though the party could not win a seat, there were positives. “In two seats the party got 26,000 and 25,000 votes and in many seats it got 7,000-8,000 votes. We have a good space to grow in the State and our focus will be on organisation building,” Mr. Singh said.
Target: Youth, women
Mr. Singh said the party will specifically target youth and women. “On March 20 and 21, we have meetings in U.P. with candidates and district in-charges to find faults and chalk out future strategy,” he said. When asked about what did not work for them in Uttarakhand, State party in-charge Dinesh Mohaniya said, “We started working in March last year, but were hit by the second wave of the pandemic. Then again before the election, the third wave affected our work.”
He said in one seat, the party polled 20,000 votes and in another 16,000. In about 12-14 seats, it got more than 5,000 votes and in seven seats more than 10,000. “We are going to divide seats according to the votes we got and form different strategies for different groups. This was our first Assembly election in Uttarakhand and we got 3.8% of votes. In a lot of seats, we were in the third position. There will be a reshuffle of posts,” Mr. Mohaniya said.
“We will be fighting municipal elections in U.P. in November-December and also in Uttarakhand in October. Fighting local elections will help us build the organisation too,” a party insider said.