AAP plans to contest panchayat polls in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: After some surprising success in Gujarat, where it won a handful of seats in civic polls recently, Aam Aadmi Party plans to contest upcoming elections of urban and rural local bodies in Karnataka.
BBMP and taluk and zilla panchayat elections are expected to be held sometime after April. Arvind Kejriwalled AAP has been trying to gain a toehold in Karnataka politics, but is yet to make an impact.
“We are not contesting panchayat elections just for the sake of it. We want to win as many seats as possible and build our support base in rural Karnataka ahead of the general elections,” said Romi Bhati, AAP’s national team member who is leading the campaign in Karnataka.
If AAP contests the panchayat polls, a crucial test before the assembly and Lok Sabha elections, it will be the first party from outside Karnataka to pull this off in recent memory. Bhati said that AAP had nearly completed the groundwork to enter the BBMP race, opening 29 party offices in Bengaluru.
“The focus for the next three months will be to expand our organisational base in the state. By mid-2022, AAP’s presence should be felt in urban and rural local bodies. We have done this successfully in Gujarat and Maharashtra, where we had negligible presence earlier,” he said. AAP, which is governing Delhi and is the primary opposition in Punjab, won 27 seats in the Surat municipal polls in Gujarat last month, displacing Congress from the second position. In Maharashtra, AAP-backed candidates won 145 seats in gram panchayat elections, while in Himachal Pradesh, the party won 36 panchayat seats out of 40 it contested. In Karnataka, party functionaries say its selling point will be the Delhi model of governance with an emphasis on education and health infrastructure.

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Sagar Biswas

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