Smelling an opportunity for his Aam Aadmi Party in Gujarat days after his party managed a voteshare of 22% in the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation elections and months after the AAP emerged as the main opposition in the Surat Municipal Corporation, party supremo Arvind Kejriwal called entire Gujarat unit for a meeting on Sunday.
Though the AAP won only one seat in the 44-member GMC in the October 3 elections, in just about a month’s campaign the party established a voteshare of 22% almost equalling that of the Congress party.
The BJP captured 41 of the 44 seats, leaving two to Congress and one to AAP. However, the AAP got more votes than the Congress candidates in four municipal wards of the city.
It may be recalled that the Congress had won both the previous two elections after the creation of a municipal corporation out of a district panchayat, but was topped by defections. This is the BJP’s first victory in Gandhinagar, the State’s political capital.
Buoyed by the party registering an impressive 22% voteshare in 56.24% polling out of a total 2.8 lakh eligible voters, Kejriwal convened a meeting in Delhi and met all Gujarat AAP leaders as well as the 27 municipal councillors of Surat and one of Gandhinagar.
Kejriwal told them at the meeting that the election results had shown that the people of Gujarat wanted change, but they need to be convinced that the AAP would win and that its elected leaders and others won’t be bought over by any other political party.
A councillor quoted Kejriwal to say that, “He said AAP holds a promise in Gujarat, but the party doesn’t have money to distribute. So, he exhorted us to ensure that none of us is sold out to the BJP and should look at the larger picture.”
The AAP chief, however, was impressed that in an effort of just over a month the party got a voteshare almost close to the Congress while it was contesting the Gandhinagar civic poll for the first time.
Kejriwal said at the meeting even after efforts for the last 40 years, the BJP had not been able to get a 22% voteshare in Kerala while AAP got this in a saffron state.
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