Delhi show peps up AAP unit in Pune, other parties scoff

AAP members celebrate their party's victory in Delhi near Alka Talkies Square on Sunday. Express

Bolstered by the party's stunning performance in Delhi Assembly polls, the Pune unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday suddenly sprang to life, sounding a bugle of sorts for the state and parliamentary elections. However, the AAP said their bigger focus will be on capturing Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies. However, other political parties said such a possibility was not there due to the presence of "three strong contenders" in NCP, Congress and BJP-Shiv Sena.

As Delhi results started trickling in, AAP workers wasted no time in organising celebrations in both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. In Pune, Shaniwar Wada echoed with slogans hailing AAP and its mentor Arvind Kejriwal. The scene was no different at Ambedkar Chowk in Pimpri. Among others, AAP leaders like Subhash Ware, Aba Mule and Pravin Acharya were present. The BJP celebrations were equally defeaning as the party rank and file distributed sweets and burst crackers following the party's victory in four states. The BJP held celebrations in at least three places. However, the day seemed to belong to AAP whose performance in Delhi elections became the talki ng point.

Pune AAP convenor Maruti Bhapkar said AAP's stunning performance in Delhi elections has given them confidence to embark on an election campaign of sorts straightaway. "Though our immediate focus is on state and parliamentary elections due for next year, we are focussing hard on capturing the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies," Bhapkar said. APP, he said, will soon declare block committee, booth committees and taluka committees.

Bhapkar, who had unsuccessfully contested last parliamentary elections from Maval but got national fame as he campaigned barefoot, said after AAP was launched in November 2012, the Pune unit has been planning to contest all elections. "Though the civic elections are far away, we want to select a few candidates for each ward. And finally, whoever is most popular will be given the nod. We have been scouting for candidates all this while but now we will double up our efforts," he said.

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