Insight Bureau: When Mamata stunned BJP in West Bengal, she was hailed as an alternative to the BJP at the National Level. And, a few months later, people are talking about Arvind Kejriwal, who expanded his party’s base outside Delhi, as AAP won its first full state.
With a massive mandate in Punjab, a border state and by winning two seats in Goa, AAP now eyes Gujarat which is going to polls in December. The party also has plans for Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana in future.
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With his ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ style, Kejriwal seeks to beat the BJP in its own game. With Congress sinking every passing day and other political parties lagging behind, AAP sees an opportunity to replace the Congress as the main opposition in India and move forward.
Interestingly, although BJP and Modi are seen as the Enemy No. 1 of Kejriwal, in reality he damaged the Congress more. Who can forget that AAP ended the Congress rule in Delhi, which BJP could not and Kejriwal stunned Sheila Dikshit in a direct poll battle. The party also inflicted similar damage on Congress in Punjab. Even the Congress CM Charanjit Singh Channi lost from both seats. Former Congress CM Captain Amarinder Singh and PCC Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu had to bite the dust too.
Although BJP did not have much presence in Punjab and did not expect to do wonders, their victory celebrations in 4 States – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, were marred by AAP’s stunning victory in Punjab. Whether they admit or not, Arvind Kejriwal and AAP will emerge as a tough challenger to BJP in the years to come.