Fresh from a massive victory in the Delhi assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday said it will contest all local bodies elections across the country to expand its footprint beyond the national capital.

Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said the party has set its sight on contesting assembly elections in a number of states including Punjab in the first phase.

As part of its nationwide reach out campaign, the party will also project its “positive nationalism” as against BJP’s “negative nationalism”.

In the recently-concluded assembly pills in Delhi, the AAP recorded a massive victory winning 62 of the 70 seats while the BJP bagged the remaining eight seats. The Congress drew a blank for the second consecutive time.

Rai credited the win to the AAP dispensation’s work in various sectors including education and healthcare.

In an interview to PTI, Rai said the party has convened a meeting of its national executive on Sunday to deliberate on expanding the party. 

“The agenda of Sunday’s meeting is to expand our organisation at the national level by including volunteers in large numbers and building party cadre across the country,” Rai, a confidante of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, said. 

Rai, a minister in outgoing Kejriwal government and state convenor of the party, said people will be able to join AAP’s ‘nation-building campaign’ by giving a missed call on the phone number — 9871010101.

“We will reach out to people through this campaign and make them volunteers in large numbers. The party will contest elections of all local bodies across the country. AAP will fight upcoming local bodies elections in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat,” he said.

Rai called BJP’s nationalism “negative”, asserting that AAP will expand its base by highlighting on “positive nationalism”.

“In Delhi, we spread positive nationalism which is based on love and respect. The BJP’s nationalism is based on hatred and divisive politics,” he said.

“The experiment done by the AAP in Delhi has become a role model for the entire country. Our nationalism is positive nationalism which gives a guarantee of good education, health care and livelihood to every section of the society including farmers,” Rai added.

The Babarpur MLA attacked the BJP for using religion as a “political weapon”.

Responding BJP’s attack on Kejriwal for reciting Hanuman Chalisa on a TV channel during the poll campaign, Rai said religion is a “political weapon” for the BJP but for the people of the country, religion is a belief.

“The BJP does not respect people of India and it sees every person as vote bank,” he said.

Rai said that after the Delhi assembly results, the thought process of alternative politics has begun in the mindset of people of other states, adding “We will have to channelise it for which we will make people volunteers in large numbers.”

Asked about the party’s bigger role in national politics, Rai said that the AAP only does “politics of work” which needs to established in the country.

“Our message is that the work done in Delhi in the last five years can happen anywhere in the country. If the people of the country want politics of work, they will have to move towards it,” he said.

Rai said that the party is ready to provide a platform to anyone who wants to do politics of work. 

(With PTI inputs)

Courtesy : DNA

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