New Delhi: After its stunning debut in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to go national. The party will announce its first list of candidates for this year's Lok Sabha elections within two weeks.
However, Mr Kejriwal says he will remain committed to Delhi and will not contest the polls. "I will campaign for the party nationally, not contest," he said on Saturday. (Read more)
The one-year-old party chalked out its plans and strategies to build a national perspective for the general elections at the Delhi's Constitution Club on Saturday. Along with the 23 core members of its national executive, AAP's representatives from all over the country were at the meeting. They will meet again today and announce its final strategy for the general elections.
"We will fight the elections from most seats in most states," AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said, adding names of most candidates will be announced by February 15.
According to sources, along with Delhi, AAP is looking at the states of Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat to build a strong support system for the national elections, due by May.
Amongst the big faces the party plans to field, reportedly, are Mayank Gandhi from Maharashtra and Sanjay Singh from Uttar Pradesh while senior party leader Yogendra Yadav is likely to be its chief ministerial candidate in the assembly elections in Haryana later this year.
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas has already declared that he will contest the Lok Sabha elections against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi from his constituency in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Mr Vishwas earlier this week said he doesn't just want to take on Mr Gandhi in Amethi, but would also like the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to join the line-up.
Of late, giving the AAP a boost are not so aam aadmis. Top banker Meera Sanyal, Captain Gopinath who created Air Deccan and Infosys board member V Balakrishnan have joined the AAP movement.
"We were under the perception that AAP is popular only in the metros but even we have been surprised by the feedback received on the enthusiasm amongst people even in remote villages," said Mr Bhushan.
AAP's Shazia Ilmi however said that her party will field only credible and honest candidates in the elections, even at the cost of not contesting from certain seats.
Mr Kejriwal, who took oath as Delhi's new Chief Minister a week ago at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, has urged "honest" people from all spheres and political parties, including Congress and BJP, to join his party in its 'fight against corruption'.