AAP yet to get foothold in city, leaders speak in different voices

The Aam Aadmi Party in the city seems to be pulling in different directions, with several factions having emerged and various people claiming to be office-bearers. While one group claims to have the blessings of the senior leaders of the party, the other claims to have the mandate of the people. As a result, they are undertaking their own activities instead of putting up a united show.

The victory of the AAP in Delhi had given a morale boost to the party members who were hopeful of a similar feat being achieved in other states as well. It was being stated that the party would also field a candidate from the city.

However, the win has also increased jostling among different leaders. One faction is led by Col (retd) S S Saini who claims he was named convener at a meeting of the party. Another is led by former nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee who claims that he is the convener and along with others in the team is undertaking several activities.

Col Saini says that several meetings were held where members of the party participated and the team was constituted. "Due to elections in Delhi, our senior leaders could not come here and formally announce the team. We are expecting them to come here within a week and hold a meeting so that the issues are resolved," he said.

He maintains that at present the atmosphere is conducive for the AAP as in Chandigarh the Congress is bogged by the rail bribery scam while the BJP is already divided. There is a scope for an alternative to emerge.

The faction led by Col Saini claims that he has been elected by the members at the grassroots as the constitution of the party states. The party workers here have been holding membership drives and supporting different sections of society in their protests. He has opened a party office in Sector 48 where a board of AAP has been put up.

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