AAP gears up in Madhya Pradesh
Raju Kumar elaborates how the party has launched a campaign to bring about change in the state with outreach programmes.
Aam Aadmi Party in Madhya Pradesh is preparing for the upcoming Assembly elections with a strategy to reach every household. For the past one year, AAP has been strengthening its organisational setup in the state. The party is focusing on Poha Choupal and Kisan Yatra to connect with people while selection process for candidates is on with the active involvement of national leaders.
Recently, Gopal Rai, Minister in Delhi Government, who is in charge of Madhya Pradesh, participated in the state party executive committee meeting in Bhopal to finalise the poll strategy. The party has launched a campaign to bring about change in Madhya Pradesh, under which activities will be held in all 42,000 polling stations in the state. Mandal chiefs are being appointed in all the booths to conduct door to door campaigns. Efforts are being made to associate farmers through 'Kishan Bachao, Badlao Lao' Yatra. A big rally in Bhopal is also planned.
In all the Lok Sabha constituencies, Poha Choupal is being organised to seek public opinion which can be included in the election manifesto. Party's state convener Alok Agarwal says that people charged for corruption, crimes and bad characters will not be given tickets. Candidates for all 230 Assembly seats will be declared by the end of July. Senior leader Chitroopa Palit has been given the responsibility of the candidate selection process.
The 'Kishan Bachao, Badlao Lao' yatra was launched in Pipaliya Mandi in Mandsaur district. It is the place where during the Kisan agitation, six farmers were killed in police firing last year. Before starting this yatra, the party organised Poha Choupal in Indore, where a breakfast dialogue was held with the local people. Poha is a famous breakfast of the Malwa region, which is preferred throughout the state. During these yatras and choupals AAP leaders attacked the state as well as Central governments over the issues of growing corruption, neglect of education and health, increasing incidence of crime against women, plight of farmers, the high cost of electricity etc.
In Madhya Pradesh no party other than Congress and BJP has ever had a strong presence at the state level. Bahujan Samaj Party has been strong in Chambal and Bhaghelkhand areas while Samajwadi Party has a presence in Bundelkhand areas. Similarly, the Gondwana Ganatantra Party had some influence in Mahakaushal area. But these parties could never become the third force in the state. Since 2003, Congress has weakened while BJP grew consistently, with the increasing popularity of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. So, there was no possibility of a political change happening in the previous elections.
BJP has been in power in the state for the last 15 years. But it is facing a major threat to its 'Mission 2018' plan. So, AAP thinks that it has a chance of becoming an important player like the Congress, which is significantly increasing its influence.
(The views expressed are strictly personal)