Press Trust of india

Time to go national: AAP supporters at Kejriwal’s swearing-in event

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New Delhi, Feb 16:  As Arvind Kejriwal took oath as chief minister of Delhi for the third time on Sunday, many Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters said it is time for him to go national and his aim should be to change the country’s politics.

Now it is the time to move beyond Delhi and work towards changing the country’s “toxic” political atmosphere, said Suman Rao, a construction worker from Bhopal and an AAP supporter.

“The atmosphere in the whole country has turned toxic, now the AAP should work towards changing that. It is very important to clean other parts of the country,” he said.

Waving the national flag at Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony at the Ramlila Maidan here, another AAP supporter Ershan Khan said there is a reason why people are carrying the tricolour and not the party’s flags.

“It is because people now want to see Kejriwal as their national leader. The time to go national is now. The time to remove negative nationalism is now and only AAP can do that,” Khan said.

Rajshree Singh, a housewife, said the party should now plan to fight in other states and expand their reach so that the ideology of the AAP spreads to other parts of the country.

Now the good politics and the good model of governance developed by the AAP should be spread to other parts of the country too, Rajesh Sharma said.

The AAP is at present recognised by the Election Commission as a state party. It emerged as the principal opposition in Punjab in 2017.

However, its national ambitions suffered a setback when its campaigns in Goa and in the last two Lok Sabha elections were unsuccessful.

It won four Lok Sabha seats in Punjab in 2014 and just one in 2019, while Delhi voters rejected the AAP in both the general elections.

Kejriwal also burnt his fingers in 2014 when he contested against Narendra Modi, who was the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, in the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, losing by over three lakh votes.

Many saw a shift in the AAP’s strategy after the party’s drubbing in the 2017 civic polls in Delhi at the hands of the BJP, as it again focussed on its development pitch in the national capital.

But ever since its recent victory in the assembly polls, AAP is again aiming to go national and has decided to fight all local body elections to strengthen its hold on the ground.

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