With the Karnataka Assembly polls due in a few months from now, the political scene is warming up with the BJP, the Congress, and the Janata Dal (S) launching their road shows and bus yatras. In contrast, the Aam Aadmi Party — the latest kid on the political block — announced last week that it has dissolved it’s state and district units in Karnataka.
“We are making preparations to face the Assembly election with a new team which will be announced soon,” the party’s chief whip in the Delhi Assembly and the AAP’s Karnataka election in-charge Dilip Pandey had told the media.
While other parties may question the wisdom of making such a move ahead of the elections, the AAP has always been a bit of a political maverick, ever since it broke on the scene in Delhi around ten years ago. Apart from sweeping the Delhi assembly elections twice and winning the Delhi Municipal Corporation election recently, the party went to win the Punjab assembly elections late last year.
“Silent voters will rally behind the party like they did in 2013 in Delhi even though it was predicted that AAP won’t get a single seat. It is going to be repeated in K’taka. The BJP and the Congress rely on the same strategies, but no one can reach out to the people like AAP,” party member and former state media coordinator, Jagadish V Sadam said.
While it could not spin it’s magic on the Gujarat electorate in the assembly polls of December 2023, the AAP is confident about its chances in Karnataka. The party is going ahead with plans to contest all the 224 assembly seats, a party source claimed.
“Our candidates profiles of education, career, good name, honest background are liked by people. They have been working from 6 months to 1 year,” the source explained.
The party is quietly but surely working on its ground presence, especially in state capital Bengaluru where corporation elections are due to be held. Taking up civic issues, promising health and educational facilities are some of the focus areas for the party in Karnataka. Schemes like 200 units of free electricity, free bus travel for women that the party effectively used to conquer Delhi, are expected to be the party’s mainstay for the Karnataka assembly campaign.
According to party sources, party founder and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other senior party leaders will soon start making frequent visits to Karnataka for streamlining and fine tuning the poll campaign.
For the moment, the political heft of the BJP, Congress, and the Janata Dal (S), does not seem to have fazed the AAP in Karnataka.