Though, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) leadership and supporters are exuberant after landslide victory of the party in Punjab Assembly election and have set eyes on Himachal Assembly Election due in 2022 but the task to achieve this goal seems not that easy.
The AAP supporters in the state look quite euphoric since Punjab Election have definitely expanded the party base as the APP would be ruling two states of India i.e. Punjab and Delhi, now.
The party which came into existence after Anna Hazare’ agitation against corruption had captured power in Delhi within few months of formation of AAP by defeating well entrenched Congress government led by Sheila Dixit government.
In Delhi as the party has won three elections, the last one with landslide victory and its Punjab win has emboldened the party leaders to present an alternative to BJP at national level as Congress is failing to do so. Its performance has been surprising since the party has surprised everyone with its spectacular performances.
The AAP leaders are now targeting Himachal and Haryana being neighboring states of Punjab as the election result can have an impact in these two states.
Despite the party having a very weak structure in Himachal Pradesh the supporters have suddenly become active after the Punjab win. More so, since APP has swept the Punjab Assembly polls by winning 92 seats out of 117 seats with a complete rout of ruling Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal .
In Himachal the party had become active during 2014 Parliament Election by fielding candidates in all four Parliamentary Constituencies i.e. Kangra, Mandi, Shimla and Hamirpur. In Hamirpur the party had fielded Kamal Kanta Batra, mother of martyr Captain Vikram Batra, but the party failed to create much impact.
In the last Assembly Election in 2017 also AAP candidates contested many seats but failed to influence voters as the party lacked organization and credible leaders.
The party has been preparing to contest Shimla Municipal Election due in May 2022 which would be a litmus test for the party.
Satender Jain , health minister in Delhi government , who was in Shimla said , “Aam Aadmi Party would contest all 68 Assembly seats in Himachal as Congress cannot be an alternative to BJP in the state and only AAP knows how to defeat BJP.”
He said, “Common man is disenchanted with both BJP and Congress as they have failed to solve their problems and the AAP government has presented a model giving maximum relief to them.”
But it would be a big challenge for the party in Himachal where the party organization is in its nascent stage without a known face. Moreover, the Congress had won the Mandi parliament seat and three Assembly seats of Arki, Jubbal Kotkhai and Fatehpur in recently held by-elections.
State’s BJP government is also making determined efforts to win the next Assembly Elections through Mission Repeat.