Elevation of senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia as deputy chief minister in the new government will give more room to party chief Arvind Kejriwal to campaign extensively in other states, as it looks to expand nationally after the success in Delhi, a senior party leader said today.
The party’s has set Punjab as its next target, where it tasted first success in the Lok Sabha polls and plans to use Kejriwal for campaigning in the northern state. AAP has four MPs from the state.
The decision to give a more prominent role to Sisodia was taken by the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) in the wee hours today, he added.
Sisodia was de facto number two in the 49-day AAP government and handled important portfolios like Education, Urban development, PWD, Land and building.
So, when Kejriwal goes for campaigning in other states, Sisodia can concentrate on governance in Delhi.
Meanwhile, AAP has decided not to contest Bihar Assembly elections, which is slated this year. Instead, it wants to focus on Punjab.
Bihar is going to polls later this year, while Punjab will witness elections in 2017. This will help party to get some breather as its resources have been depleted and has a worn out cadre due to three elections over the past one year and half year.
“In the run up to the polls, Kejriwal can extensively campaign for the party six months prior to the election,” he said.
Despite its drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls across the country, including Delhi, AAP managed to open its account and win four seats in Punjab, even defeating veterans like former Union minister Preneet Kaur.
The party also got substantial vote share in other constituencies such as Ludhiana, Ropar, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur. It had stepped up its ante against the drug menace, which helped it gain popularity in the state.