Friday 1 July 2022
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AAP eyes Himachal Pradesh after capturing Punjab

After registering a big, first-time win in the recently-concluded Punjab assembly election where it secured 92 of the 117 seats — and also managed to win two seats in Goa — the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has set its eyes firmly on Himachal Pradesh.

The party today announced that it would contest all 68 seats in the Himachal Pradesh assembly election, scheduled later this year.

The AAP plans to contest in the municipal corporation election in Shimla next month as well.

AAP senior leader Satyendar Jain, who held a roadshow in Shimla today to mark the party’s win in Punjab, said, “AAP will form the government in Himachal Pradesh in the upcoming assembly election. Health and systems are in a bad state here,” said Jain, who is the Delhi health minister.

The AAP now heads the governments in and Delhi with an overwhelming majority.

After making its debut in Goa in the 2017 state polls, the party managed to create a beachhead this year by winning two seats.

Meanwhile, Punjab’s Chief Minister-elect Bhagwant Mann said yesterday in his first directions to AAP’s new MLAs a day after the party’s outsized win in the state, “We have to work for all those places where we went to seek votes. All MLAs must work in the areas from where they have been elected, not just stay in Chandigarh.”

Mann was elected leader of the AAP Legislative Party in Punjab, a formality ahead of his swearing-in scheduled for 16 March.

“We can have 17 cabinet ministers besides the chief minister. Nobody has to get upset. You are all cabinet ministers,” he told the meeting of 92 MLAs including himself.

This came a day after the AAP registered a huge win in the elections scooping up 92 seats in the 117-member assembly. Mann, who was the party’s chief ministerial candidate, won from the Dhuri seat by over 58,000 votes.

Addressing the newly-elected MLAs, Mann appealed to all of them not to get arrogant and work for even those who have “not voted for the party”. “I appeal to all of you not to be arrogant. Work even for those who have not voted for you. You are the MLAs of the Punjabis. They have elected the government,” he said.

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