Himachal: The young Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems to be trying to win Himachal Pradesh without any commander. The ruling party in the national capital and neighboring Punjab has so far been unable to rope in any prominent leader to lead the team in the tourist state, which is due to go to the polls later this year. Political pundits believe that the situation is not much different from Punjab, where only Bhagwant Mann was the party chief. But this may not work in Himachal, where political parties almost always announce the name of the chief ministerial candidate before the elections.
An observer noted that AAP’s promise of alternative politics has not only appeased those disenchanted with the state’s bipolar system, freeing the government and administration from rampant corruption and ensuring good governance, but also has created curiosity and enthusiasm among voters, mainly the youth.” Thousands of supporters have come forward to work or join the party, which was unusual in the past. “But the party has no leader. He will have to get a prime ministerial face ahead of time along with his potential candidates.
AAP’s stellar performance in the Punjab Assembly elections in February prompted the party to begin its organizational expansion in Himachal from the village unit level with mass outreach programs to provide an alternative to the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the upcoming elections. “But still AAP is a new party,” the observer said, adding that with the arrest of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who heads the party in the tourist state, the party is very late in the electoral preparations.
The Aam Aadmi Party is currently relying on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Mann to strengthen the organizational footprint in the hill state, where more than 90% of the population lives in rural areas and a literacy rate of 83%. His main electoral theme is honesty, patriotism and together with health and education.
The Kejriwal-Mann pair comes to show the strength of the party. In the last rally on July 25, he could not reach the city of Solan due to bad weather, but he attended the swearing-in ceremony of about 5,000 officials. Kejriwal, who formally launched the Himachal Mission on April 6 from Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur’s home town of Mandi at a rally in Solan, said the AAP family is growing in Himachal which was attended by more than 9,000 people as Offices. Eh
With a cadre base of over 6 lakhs, AAP had claimed that there is no history of third party government formation in Delhi and Punjab and history will repeat itself in Himachal too, it contested all 68 seats in the elections to assembly fight. To woo voters, the party is banking heavily on its Delhi model of governance, promising to form an honest government with changes in the education and health sectors if voted to power.
In June, the AAP announced new offices in the state unit, which is headed by Surjit Singh Thakur. The party dissolved its state unit in April after its state president and several leaders switched allegiance to join the BJP, largely because of its “twin engine” rule (a phrase that ‘use to support the BJP at the Centre). handle the state), which is used to take the BJP as the centre.
A strong anti-incumbency wave against the BJP (evident from the loss of three assemblies and one parliamentary seat in the October 2021 polls) and the absence of experienced ministerial faces may work for the already ruling AAP two states Both the traditional game changers (Virbhadra Singh of the Congress and Prem Kumar Dhumal of the BJP) are out of the picture. Singh has died, while Dhumal is virtually in political exile after his defeat in the last assembly elections.
Political observers told IANS that the path is more or less clear for the AAP, which has yet to make its presence felt even in the state civic polls, to overtake traditional political outfits in the tourist state, where both Congress and BJP were ruling. . did. Himachal Pradesh has traditionally been dominated by the Congress and its first non-Congress Chief Minister was Shanta Kumar after the Janata Party came to power in 1977.
Asserting that there was no threat from the AAP, a senior minister pointed out that just before every election, a handful of rebels from both the Congress and the BJP quit the party to avenge the humiliation when they were nominated by to the nomination of the party as a candidate. was denied. He said that this time also some disgruntled party leaders are likely to join AAP. A political observer believes that the AAP poses a bigger threat to the opposition Congress than the ruling BJP. AAP made its debut in the state in 2014 by fielding candidates on all four Lok Sabha seats. The leaders who joined the AAP were keen to contest the 2017 assembly elections, but the AAP decided not to participate. In those elections, the BJP won a majority in the 68-member assembly with 44 seats.