AAP plays safe, keeps focus on Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (PTI Photo)

After failing to make a splash in the national scene in last five years, the Aam Aadmi Party has pragmatically stooped to conquer, keeping its focus on Delhi ahead of the likely Assembly polls in the year-end.

While the party has decided to contest only 50 of 288 seats in Maharashtra, that too “not to rule” but to fill the vacuum of Opposition, it has also decided not to send in its central leaders to campaign in Haryana.

Of late, the AAP has also been avoiding a confrontation with the Centre. Recently, the party also backed the Narendra Modi government's decision on Article 370.

There has also been little development on the state government's strained relation with the Lieutenant Governor for Delhi, a conflict which was a hallmark of the Kejriwal-led government ever since it came to power in 2015, winning 67 0f 70 seats in Delhi.

Turning the focus inward, the AAP has since launched a series of measures to deepen its connect with people in Delhi. Kejriwal, riding high on his cheap power tariff campaign, launched a mega exercise to free 1260 kms of roads managed by its Public Works Department (PWD) from potholes on Saturday. Under the campaign, 50 ruling AAP MLAs, each accompanied by an engineer, will inspect 25 kms of roads in their areas, with the help of an app that will locate and record potholes.

Kejriwal’s party, which had in 2015, briefly halted the Modi juggernaut, winning the Delhi state polls with a thumping majority, is now running a campaign with caution.

So while the AAP is contesting polls in nearby Haryana, top AAP leaders including Kejriwal are not likely to campaign for Assembly polls the state, even though the party plans to contest all 90 seats there.

The AAP is also running a tepid campaign in Maharashtra, it has decided to contest 50 of 288 Assembly seats.

In sharp contrast to the campaign in Maharashtra and Haryana, Kejriwal has come out with a comprehensive plan to connect with masses in Delhi, including door-to-door and district-level meetings with booth workers from October 16. and district conferences of booth workers in all 14 districts of Delhi.

The AAP will also carry out "Purvanchal Jan Samvad" campaign at 300 polling stations in Delhi from October 6 to November 20, to woo the odd 40 lakh Poorvanchali (those hailing from Eastern UP and Bihar) voters.

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