Days after the Mumbai Summit of the INDIA bloc saw the allies resolved to announce seat sharing for all States at the earliest for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party has decided to strike out alone in the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh by announcing ten candidates each for the two States.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress is seeking a second term; in Madhya Pradesh, after 18 years of BJP governance, the party is hoping to return to power. After the initial hesitation, AAP has been an integral part of the INDIA bloc. The bloc aims to have a common candidate against the BJP in selected seats for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The party’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has visited Chhattisgarh four times since March and is slated to visit again on September 16. The visits came even as he attended all three INDIA meetings in Patna, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Talks within the alliance have not stopped Mr. Kejriwal from attacking Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s government. The only difference between his last three visits and the one in August, after the INDIA bloc came into being, is that he refrained from making any direct allegations against anyone in Mr. Baghel’s government. However, he continued to criticise the condition of the schools in Chhattisgarh, comparing it to the Delhi school infrastructure.
Competing with the five guarantees the Congress is making, Mr. Kejriwal is assuring the electorate of ten promises that are very similar to that of the former, including monthly allowance for women and free electricity of up to 300 units. The party is keen on expanding its footprint in both the States. The Congress at the Centre has been maintaining a studied silence over AAP’s plans.
In Madhya Pradesh, out of the ten seats for which AAP has announced its candidates, five are currently held by the Congress.