AAP anticipates early polls in Delhi; rushes into election mode

The term of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha comes to an end in February 2020

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal [File] AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal | Reuters

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi has jumped into election mode in right earnest, keen to be ready for the possibility of assembly polls in the national capital, which are due early next year, getting advanced to October this year to coincide with the elections in three other states.

A month ago, the party's chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj had alluded to the strong buzz about the elections in Delhi getting advanced by a few months, tweeting to ask, “Can EC do that? Can EC curtail the period of duly elected assembly?”.

The term of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha comes to an end in February 2020. However, the Election Commission would be well within its rights to advance the elections by up to six months before the term of the present assembly ends.

Despite its unease with the possibility of the Assembly elections getting advanced, the AAP has been prompt in leaving behind the disappointment of its disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections, where it failed to win a single seat in the national capital and ended up third behind the BJP and the Congress in five out of the seven parliamentary constituencies in Delhi.

In preparation for the state elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently met all the AAP MLAs, directing them to meet the people in their assembly constituencies, listen to their problems and resolve their concerns. The programme, titled 'Aapka Vidhayak Aapke Dwar', will see the MLAs talk to the constituents about the work done by the Kejriwal government in the fields of power and water supply, education, health and door-step delivery of services. The AAP legislators have been asked to do this every day in their respective constituencies.

According to Delhi State convenor and cabinet minister Gopal Rai, a team will be formed by the state unit to monitor this programme. A team shall be constituted in each Vidhan Sabha area to track the progress at the local level.

A team of volunteers associated with the Delhi unit of the party will be appointed for day-to-day tracking of various MLAs in the city. This team will prepare a report of the programme for the chief minister at the end of each day.

“The assembly elections will be a completely different ball game. The issues will be different. And in the state elections, the people will vote for the AAP on the basis of the good work done by our government,” said an AAP leader. The party's campaign for Delhi hinges on the idea that when it comes to electing the local government, the people trust only Kejriwal and the AAP.

Intensifying its campaign in Delhi, the AAP has been raising the issue of 'deteriorating' law and order situation in the national capital. In this context, it has highlighted its flagship scheme for installation of CCTV cameras, calling it a step that will help in controlling crime. The party has also tried to create a buzz about the Kejriwal government's proposal to allow free travel for women in public transport, carrying out a ten-day referendum on the issue. Also, ministers have over the past few weeks been undertaking surprise checks of the public facilities that come under their purview.