- AAP to fight polls in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal and Punjab
- AAP said it would contest all the 117 seats in Punjab
- Aam Aadmi Party was formed eight years ago
The eight-year-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will contest elections in six states that go to polls next year — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
The announcement was made by party chief Arvind Kejriwal at its Ninth National Council meeting on Thursday.
“The AAP will contest Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab,” Mr Kejriwal said pushing for action against those responsible for the January 26 violence in Delhi after the farmers’ tractor rally went rogue.
Delhi’s ruling party has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which governs four of the six states it plans to contest, of “planting its stooge” to disrupt the tractor rally.
Two days after the violence, in which at least 24 cases have been filed naming farm leaders who have also been served show-cause notices, Mr Kejriwal said his party will “boycott” the President’s address tomorrow as a way to show support to protesting farmers.
The Parliament’s Budget session starts on Friday.
“What happened on January 26 is regrettable, and whichever leader or party is involved should face strict action,” said the Delhi Chief Minister.
Arvind Kejriwal added that the events that unfolded during tractor rally do not mean the end of movement against centre’s three contentious agriculture laws.
“We have to together back the farmers. Whatever happened that day cannot end the agitation,” he said.
He also urged his cadre to always approach the protesting farmers without their party cap and flag. “Always approach them as fellow citizens. Do not do politics there,” he said.
At the start of the farmers’ Delhi leg of the protest in November, the party had announced its unconditional support to their demands and welcomed them to Delhi, saying the party was “sevadaar (in service)” and always would take care of the “annadaata”.
Soon after, the AAP also declared it would contest all the 117 seats in agriculture-centric Punjab – where it is the second largest party with 19 seats. Within days, it added Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to the list promising “corruption-free” government and gave the example of Delhi, where it has been in power for two consecutive terms.
It has since attacked the BJP and Congress, both over various issues including the farm laws.
“I urge party members to strengthen grassroots-level hold of the party across the country. The country is important for the people and AAP is the vehicle and we need to work to develop the party,” Arvind Kejriwal said today.