After Punjab, These Two States Are Next AAP Ventures, Says Leader

The AAP win in Punjab will be the party's first victory in the state and a significant improvement from its performance in the 2017 elections.

The Aam Aadmi Party has teams for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

New Delhi:

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, savouring its huge victory in Punjab, has its campaigns already in the works for the states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, party leader Akshay Marathe told NDTV on Thursday.

"Yes, we are definitely going to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. These are two states on our radar and the party has been sending party workers to these states and we will definitely have a big impact. For decades people of India have had to decide between two parties who did not work for them. For the first time, they are seeing an alternative to both, and people want change," he said.

Commenting on the AAP's outsized win in Punjab, defying most exit poll predictions, Mr Marathe said, "We have faced this in AAP all along. That political bigwigs don't even consider us or acknowledge our presence. But then we clean sweep them. I say this with humility that we have worked very hard for the last 10 years and our performance can be seen by all."

The Aam Aadmi Party is leading in 91 seats on the 117 seat Punjab Assembly at 1 pm, followed by Congress (17) and Shiromani Akali Dal (6).

The AAP win in Punjab will be the party's first victory in the state and a marked improvement from its performance in the 2017 elections when it had finished second behind Congress which went into the polls this time, battling factionalism and anti-incumbency.

The party changed its Chief Minister in September last year even as the party's new state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu hinted about his own chief ministerial ambitions. Congress finally declared Charanjit Singh Channi as the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, endorsing him for the Chief Ministerial face days before the polling on February 20.

The Shiromani Akali Dal, which had broken off the alliance with the BJP over the three farm laws that were eventually repealed, tied up with Bahujan Samaj Party for the Assembly elections.