Arvind Kejriwal On AAP's Performance In Gujarat: "Breached BJP Fortress, Will Win Next Time"

The AAP won five seats and secured a vote share of 12.92 per cent in the Gujarat assembly elections.

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday thanked the people for helping the AAP "breach the BJP's fortress" in Gujarat and asserted that the party would win the state the next time.

In a video message, Mr Kejriwal said though the AAP did not win many seats in Gujarat, the votes it secured helped it attain the status of a national party.

The AAP won five seats and secured a vote share of 12.92 per cent in the Gujarat assembly elections, as declared by the State Election Commission.

"I am thankful to the people of Gujarat for helping us attain the status of national party. Very few parties enjoy the status and now we are one of them. Ours is only a 10-year-old party," the Delhi chief minister said.

Already recognised as a state party in Delhi, Punjab and Goa, the AAP was just one state away from earning the status of national party. Having opened its account in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, the party will attain national status.

To earn the status of a national party, a political outfit needs to be recognised in at least four states. It needs to win at least two seats and 6 per cent of the votes polled in the assembly election to be recognised as a state party.

"Your AAP is a national party now. Gujarat's people have made it a national party. On the basis of votes polled in Gujarat, legally AAP is now a national party," Mr Kejriwal added.

The AAP fielded candidates on all 182 assembly seats in an attempt to breach the BJP's Gujarat bastion, conducting a high-decibel campaign in the run-up to the polls.

The party positioned itself and its national convenor Mr Kejriwal as the sole challenger to the BJP and Prime Minister Modi, respectively.

Gujarat is considered to be a fortress for the BJP and the people of the state helped the AAP make a dent in it, he said.

"Gujarat is considered (to be a) BJP stronghold. We have polled around 13 per cent votes. There are so many people who have trusted us, voted for us for the first time. This time, we breached the fortress and next time, with your blessings, we will win it," he said.

Arvind Kejriwal also said leaders of his party did not indulge in a campaign of mudslinging or abusive politics but spoke about positive things and the work done by it in Delhi and Punjab.

"We only spoke about the work done by us in Punjab and Delhi and how, if we get an opportunity in Gujarat, we will work for the people. This differentiates us from other parties.

"In the last 75 years, politics has revolved around caste, mudslinging and religion. But we spoke about issues that affect the common man," he said.

Calling it an amazing feat, Mr Kejriwal said people were shocked to know that the party achieved national party status in such a short time.

"People are amazed by this achievement. I have learnt a lot from you and received a lot of love and respect. I am indebted to you," he said in the message.

Reiterating that they were "imaandar" and honest people, Arvind Kejriwal asked party activists to rest for a few days and then return to serving the people of Gujarat.

AAP senior leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it was the first time that the politics of education and health was making a mark in the country.

The AAP had on Wednesday ended the BJP's 15-year tenure in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi -- trifurcated in 2012 into north, south and east corporations and unified this year -- by winning 134 seats while restricting the BJP to 104 seats. Mr Kejriwal had shuttled between Gujarat and Delhi to campaign for the party.

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh echoed Mr Kejriwal's sentiment.

"Gujarat is called the fortress of PM Modi and (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah. CM Arvind Kejriwal has breached their fortress today.

"Ten years ago AAP was formed, till now the people of Delhi formed our government thrice in Delhi and now we have our government in Punjab also," he added.

Gopal Rai, the AAP's Delhi unit convenor, said it would no longer have to struggle for the party symbol after attaining the status of a national party.

"Till now, we had to struggle for our symbol but after getting the status of a national party, the 'jhaadu' (broom) symbol will be reserved for the AAP across the whole country.

"With people of Gujarat ensuring locking-in of the 'jhaadu' symbol for the Aam Aadmi Party, the time has come to wield the broom throughout the nation," he said.

The AAP had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha and the 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat with most of its candidates securing fewer votes than the None Of The Above (NOTA) option, according to official figures.

It stayed away from the state during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP posted a historic victory in Gujarat, winning 150 seats and leading in another six in the 182-member assembly. The Congress finished second, winning 17 seats, while the AAP won five seats. Independent candidates won three seats and the Samajwadi Party picked up one.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)