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AAP plans to launch massive membership drive in Southern states

|HT|


Fresh from a statement win in the 2022 Punjab Assembly election, the Aam Aadmi Party has turned its eyes on the southern states, with plans to launch a massive membership drive in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, as well Puducherry and the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands, senior AAP leader Somnath Bharti said Friday. "After the thunderous victory of the AAP in Punjab, people from the southern regions have started showing interest in the politics of our party. We are receiving an unprecedented response from southern India," Bharti said.

"Seeing the mood of the people, and taking into account the response, our teams in the southern states have been receiving, we have decided to launch membership campaigns."

These campaigns will begin April 14 (on Dr BR Ambedkar's birth anniversary) in Telangana with a padyatra (foot march), the AAP leader said.

"We will cover each constituency... we will take the politics of Kejriwalji and the ideals of Babasaheb and Bhagat Singh to every resident of the region," he added.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit stormed to power in Punjab, winning 92 of 117 seats in Thursday's election and displacing the Congress. It enjoyed considerably less success in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh - where it got less than 0.4 per cent of the vote share.

The AAP did, however, pick up two seats in Goa and is keen to build on this momentum to expand its footprint ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. On Thursday party leader Raghav Chadha dropped the broadest hint yet of future plans after calling Kejriwal 'the hope of crores of people'.

"If God is willing and people give an opportunity, he will definitely be in a bigger role - that of the Prime Minister - soon," he said. Meanwhile, AAP leader Bhagwant Mann is set to take oath as the new Punjab chief minister on Wednesday. Mann, a former stand-up comic, beat the Congress' Dalveer Goldy from the Dhuri constituency by over 60,000 votes.



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