AAP leaders said at present their focus was to increase the supporter base in the state without thinking much about other parties. AAP has launched “Swarajya Yatra” in western Maharashtra as the party’s outreach programme ahead of the upcoming elections in the state.
Reacting to the AAP’s outreach programme, a senior Congress leader said, “It is good to see that more parties are launching an attack against the ill-governance of BJP, but we feel that it would be counterproductive if there is division of votes of anti-BJP parties. Right now, there is an anti-BJP wave in Maharashtra and the MVA is looking quite formidable, but the entry of parties like AAP will divide the opposition’s support.”
The announcement has reminded Congress of the entry of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) in the last elections. “In the last Lok Sabha and assembly polls, VBA had contested some key seats, where the Congress candidates could have won easily. VBA’s entry led to division in votes and it directly helped the BJP candidates to secure win in those seats. Therefore, Congress is a bit sceptical about AAP’s entry in the state,” a senior Congress leader said. Before starting the rally in Maharashtra, AAP national convener and Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the state and held meetings with Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray.
Vice-president of state Congress Mohan Joshi said, “Everyone has seen the vicious politics of BJP and all parties with secular ideology should make sure that BJP is defeated in 2024. All such parties need to have coordination to avoid division of votes. We have experienced the same division during the Goa assembly elections and now we expect AAP and other parties to learn from that mistake.”
Gopal Italia, the co-in charge of AAP’s Maharashtra unit, said, “It is too early for us to comment on our stand on the issue. Our focus is to grow our base in the state. We have been fighting solidly against BJP and we intend to do the same in Maharashtra.”