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Buoyed by its success in Delhi Assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is strengthening itself in Gujarat as well by setting up its units at district and taluka levels. The party has already set up its units in as many as 19 districts and is planning to form its units in the rest of the districts within a fortnight. The districts where it has not been able to set up its units so far are in tribal areas and north Gujarat region.
State convener Baldev Patel said that the party's units would also be in place at block or taluka level within two months with a view to prepare for the Lok Sabha polls. "Following spectacular performance of the party in Delhi Assembly polls, we are getting a good response in the state," he said.
Patel said that he was getting calls from academicians, activists and leaders from the established parties to join AAP. However, he refused the name of the leaders from other parties approaching him to join his party. "But I told them that there are no posts in AAP and everyone is treated as a common worker. The decisions in the party are taken collectively by a consultative committee as no one is authorised to take independent decision on his own," he said, adding that AAP was not like other parties where one could flaunt the post of office-bearers to impress the people.
"Even Arvind Kejriwal is the convener of the party, not its president. And the decisions by him are in consultation with 24 others in the central consultation committee, and not by him alone," Patel pointed out.
Asked if his party would contest Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat, he said that it would be decided by the central consultation committee, depending on the situation in the state. "We may contest all the seats or some seats only, depending on our presence and strength," he said.
Patel said that some tribal educationists from the newly created Chhota Udepur and other places had contacted him and invited him to mobilise the tribals in favour of AAP. AAP won a total of 28 Assembly seats in Delhi and lost five other seats by a margin of 200 to 3,000 votes. Its candidates were runners-up in 20 other constituencies.