By Anirudh Singla
With the possibility of a plausible alternative to the Congress in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Gujarat-in-charge, Gopal Rai admitted that the political party had lost the last six crucial months after receiving a jolt in the Punjab and the Goa State Assembly Elections. Observing the political temperament of the state favouring the Congress this time, Gopal Rai accepted that the AAP lacked organisational structuring mainly at the grassroots level which might have helped in the conversion of votes in their favour.
Stagnation of the AAP
Gopal Rai was quoted saying, “It is a fact in Gujarat that AAP has been affected because of the slow work which happened after Punjab (elections). Our speed had become quite slow. That is why we took a realistic approach and decided to contest from a few seats. If this gap of six months had not happened, our party would have possibly been in a different situation there.” After a recent victory in the Bawana by-election, AAP decided to contest for a few seats in Gujarat. With poor performance lurking high and being reflected in the party’s huge losses in the states of Punjab and Goa along with the unsatisfactory performance in the Delhi MCD polls, it was already time that the AAP took into cognisance the need for strengthening its structural organization.
The AAP’s potential votes
When it comes to Gujarat, AAP leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai and other seniors have been to the state quite frequently in recent times, be it to address the flogging of the Dalit Community members that took place in Una or lend their voices to the Patidar agitation. Gopal Rai is currently expecting the party to get some support from Jignesh Mevani, the leader representing the Dalit Community as well as the popular Patidar community leader, Hardik Patil for their consolidated votes. He was quoted saying, “The mood in the state is in favour of the Congress, but it has no organisational presence. The BJP, in the last few days, seems to have picked up with its thrust being on door-to-door campaigning.”
Contesting 10 constituencies as of now, AAP is looking towards widening its horizon to field more candidates in order to create a larger impact. However, riding on a dry wave with no positive leads as such, the party has to work hard to strengthen its working at the grass-roots level and engage with people through door-to-door campaigning.