The party will, however, contest all the seven LS seats in its home turf of Delhi.
Taking a cue from the debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to contest in only 80-100 Lok Sabha seats of the 545 seats in the 2019 Parliamentary elections. The party had contested on 432 seats in the 2014 elections.
The AAP will, however, contest all the seven Lok Sabha seats in its home turf Delhi. It will also contest on all the seats from Haryana and Punjab. In Punjab, the AAP is the principal Opposition, while in Haryana, the party is going to make its debut. AAP will also contest the Assembly elections in Haryana which goes to the polls in 2019.
Party sources said that AAP is also likely to contest the two Lok Sabha seats from Goa. The party had contested the Goa Assembly elections in 2017, but could not bag a single seat from the 40-member Assembly in the coastal state.
Apart from these states, the AAP will contest from other seats where the party thinks it has a stronghold and good organisational capability.
Sources in the party also said that the party will contest all the seats in the National Capital Region (NCR)—Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad—owing to its proximity to Delhi, where it is currently in power.
A senior AAP leader said, “We will contest all seats in the NCR as well, because we have confidence in our governance in Delhi. The people of NCR have seen the kind of work the AAP government has done for the people of Delhi. Apart from this, we will contest on all the seats in Punjab where the party is strong and even in Haryana where we have managed to get a strong organisation.”
Sources in the party also indicated that the party will contest all the five Lok Sabha seats in Bangalore where the party believes it has a stronghold, given that it had contested the Karnataka Assembly elections held earlier this year.
Somnath Bharati, spokesperson and senior AAP leader, told this newspaper, “We will contest on all the seats in Delhi where there will be a direct contest with the BJP, since the Congress has lost its relevance in Delhi. Apart from this, we will contest on all seats in Haryana and Punjab. We will also contest in other states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat depending upon the feedback that we get from the organisation in these states.”
“I am in-charge of the southern states and for my states, if we get good candidates who are free of corruption charges and who do not belong to any other political party, we can contest on several seats. We will take a decision on the number of seats we will contest on, depending on the candidates and organisational capability,” Bharati added.
Sources in the party said that the decision not to contest on all seats, like in 2014, was taken by the party to ensure that only credible people and strong seats are targeted.
“We do not have that much resource to contest on all seats. We will strategise and contest this time. The party is assessing the situation in every state to see where the party stands in these states. The process of receiving feedback and meetings with different state convenors is on and we will take a decision depending on their feedback,” a source in AAP said.