Gujarat Assembly polls are scheduled to be held later this year and we may not witness the political tussle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, according to India Today report. The final decision in this regard will be taken in next few days as Aam Aadmi Party is mulling not to contest the elections following its defeats in Punjab, Goa Assembly polls and MCD elections in the national capital, the report says. It has been learned that party was divided over the issue. A section of leadership is opposing the idea of contesting elections in Gujarat- which is considered as BJP’s bastion. Meanwhile, another group believed that a sudden negative decision would have a detrimental effect on the party activists in PM Modi’s home turf, the report says.They said that if AAP decides to backtrack now, it could face a mass exodus at the ground level.
On June 6, AAP leaders from Gujarat had apprised the party leadership about the strengths and weaknesses of the organization in the state. A meeting was held and leaders had briefed AAP’s Gujarat in-charge and Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai about the prospects. The party had deputed its Matiala MLA Gulab Singh to build the party organisation there. CM Kejriwal was also apprised about the ongoing development.
Earlier, AAP had seen an opportunity to breach the BJP’s citadel following Patidar agitation and protests by Dalits following the flogging of Dalit men in Una. CM Kejriwal had visited Gujarat several times. He had also launched a scathing attack against BJP government in the state. After Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, Gujarat had seen two chief ministers in a span of two-and-a-half years. AAP had earlier announced that it will field candidates for all 182 seats.
Earlier in March, Kejriwal was supposed to address a volunteers’ meeting and then ‘gherao’ Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. Aam Aadmi Party also had wanted Assembly elections in Gujarat to be conducted using ballot papers and not EVMs. AAP’s Gujarat Incharge Gopal Rai had said they will approach the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat in this regard soon.
Rai had said that AAP will improve its organisational strength in Gujarat. “We have so far trained 6000 volunteers and will train 20,000 volunteers in the next two months. We will call all our booth-level workers to Gandhinagar on March 26, when Kejriwal will address them,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.