Lucknow, Dec. 12: Rahul, here they come.
Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party took out a motorcycle rally in Lucknow today, kicking off its Uttar Pradesh campaign a day after senior leaders announced in Delhi that Kumar Vishwas, part of the AAP’s core committee, might take on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi.
Party sources said Kejriwal had decided to target high-profile constituencies in the state to project the new outfit as the “only alternative” for 2014, his hunger whetted by his recent giant-killing act in Delhi and the Congress’s “decimation”.
The sources said besides Amethi, the AAP plans to start rallies in a host of other key segments including Ghaziabad, the constituency of BJP chief Rajnath Singh; Mainpuri, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s constituency, and Varanasi, now held by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.
In Lucknow, several hundred youths, wearing their trademark AAP caps, zoomed through the streets on bikes, some of the pillion riders waving brooms, the party’s election symbol. The procession started from Hazratganj in the afternoon and passed through Rumi Gate, IT College, Indira Nagar, Ameenabad and the Chowk area of the old city as crowds cheered them through.
Badri Narayan, AAP spokesperson in Lucknow, said the “Chetna Yatra” (awareness rally) was just one of a series his party would take out ahead of the 2014 general election.
Party insiders said the AAP was trying to draw disenchanted youths with a clean image, including those from the minorities, to neutralise Narendra Modi’s campaign and carve out a secular space in the volatile state.
“The very fact that 11 of the Aam Aadmi Party’s core committee members are from Uttar Pradesh underscores how important Uttar Pradesh is to the party,” said Aruna Singh, an AAP leader.