NEW DELHI: After the AAP’s state unit’s top leadership merged with the BJP, the AAP is trying to bring back to life the party in Himachal Pradesh. As Assembly elections are inching closer, AAP is increasingly trying to expand its organisational network and is reworking on its grassroots to expand its national footprint in the northern state. The party has completed its door-to-door campaigning in 15 out of the 41 wards in Shimla and has already reached out to 1.6 million out of 7 million people in the hill state. The elections in the state are six months away. The back to back visits of Arvind Kejriwal in just 20 days in the hill state saw him connecting with the masses. However, experts believe AAP crossing the victory line is an uphill task, but carrying on with the Punjab momentum, the party could emerge as a third front in the “switch state”, where the BJP and Congress have been alternately forming governments since 1985.
Gaurav Sharma, AAP spokesperson in Himachal Pradesh, said, “We had a very successful rally in Kangra, it was the rally of masses, there were more than 25,000 people in that rally, many people are getting inducted in the party day by day, we are already on track, we will produce a face before the elections. Our high command is taking feedback from the people and the one who is accepted by the masses will be the CM face. Furthermore, we have made a point that everybody from any party is welcome. To add to that, many people from BJP and Congress are already in touch with us; then there are those who won’t get the tickets from their parties, we have space for them too.” The AAP, which had devoured the vote share of Congress in Delhi and Punjab elections and dislodged its governments in both the states, is now banking upon the anti-incumbency faced by the BJP and the missing leadership of Virbhadra Singh in the Congress who had dominated the electoral politics for near about four decades. If not a win, AAP wants the tag of principal opposition party in the state of 68 Assembly constituencies. In 2017, BJP had won 44 seats and Congress 21.