Kejriwal eyes his home state to spread political wings

Kejriwal eyes his home state to spread political wings

Kejriwal eyes his home state to spread political wings

After sizable footprints in Punjab with 20 seats in its kitty just a year ago, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is planning to go the whole-hog to claim the political turf in neighbouring Haryana.

The party decided against contesting the last assembly election in 2014 in Haryana. This time though, raring to test waters in Jatland, talks of son-of-soil and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal contesting from Haryana is doing the rounds. This could be AAP's best bet if it fancies a chance to alter the political canvas in the Jat-dominated state.

With Assembly elections in the state likely to be held ahead of schedule along with the Lok Sabha elections next year, Arvind Kejriwal is expected to announce its party's chief ministerial candidate in the coming week, sources told Deccan Herald.

If that be, it will also clear the dust on whether or not Kejriwal would exit the national capital for Haryana. Kejriwal will sound the poll bugle at a rally scheduled for March 26 in Sirsa where the leader for the coveted post may be announced.

Unlike in Punjab where the party had several prominent leaders who were the face of the party, even though many were dubbed as turncoats, in Haryana the AAP arguably has inconsequential leaders to bank upon. Kejriwal's estranged colleague Yogendra Yadav, who contested from Gurgaon in the last general elections only to settle for the fourth slot, too will no more aid the party political designs in Haryana, which happens to be his home state too.

Despite odds stacked against the party, sources said that the AAP has managed to set up a cadre base in the state that it claims is battle ready. Before its good show in the Punjab assembly elections last year, the AAP had the distinct advantage of winning its lone 4 MP seats from Punjab even as it drew a complete blank elsewhere in the country.

That ground well is missing in Haryana, which is why the AAP, still dubbed as a rookie, appears to be starting early in the race.