NEW DELHI, 4 JAN: Kumar Vishwas of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) appears to be gearing up to take on Rahul Gandhi in his pocket borough of Amethi with a rally to be held there on 12 January.
To project Vishwas as the sole AAP leader in Amethi, other party leaders are likely to skip the rally. Mr Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister, and his Cabinet colleagues, will also not be present at the rally.
The rally is to be held close to the district collectorate at Gauriganj, the district headquarters of Amethi. The slogans that have been prepared by AAP for the rally speak for themselves.
One slogan says “Jaise Delhi me akele dikhe the Kejriwal, Amethi me akele ladenge Kumar Vishwas. (Just as Kejriwal battled it alone in Delhi, Vishwas will fight it alone in Amethi)."
Reflecting AAP's aspirations to win Lok Sabha seats in non-urban areas after winning 28 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections, another slogan says “Jhadu chala gaon ki, aur diya Amethi ko jhagjhor. (The broom ~ AAP's election symbol ~ now ventures into the villages and it will give a jolt to Amethi.”
In another slogan that will be raised at the rally on 12 January, support will be solicited from the people of Amethi for Kumar Vishwas. "Utth gaye Amethi ke haath, denge sab Kumar Vishwas ka saath. (All the hands are united, let’s all go along with Kumar Vishwas)”.
Local district conveners of the AAP in Amethi said the party was facing trouble in enlisting members there. One convener, who refused to be named, said the number of members enlisted by the AAP has reached 15,000 which according to him is dismal. He was confident that in a few days the number will rise to 50,000.
Amidst apprehensions that conquering this Congress stronghold will not be a cakewalk for AAP, intense preparations are on for the Amethi rally.
There are doubts over whether a rally held in Amethi would be as successful as one held in Ramlila Ground since there is no support base in Amethi for AAP. However, the AAP has decided go ahead with the rally.
The spectacular performance by the AAP in the Delhi Assembly elections has buoyed party workers. District conveners said the number of people joining AAP has risen remarkably.
The district conveners in Amethi have assured the AAP senior leaders that they can expect a turnout of 50,000 to 1,00,000 supporters at Kumar Vishwas's rally. “We are confident that we will trounce all parties,” said one convener.
“The rally in Uttar Pradesh will be held in presence of some AAP leaders. Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia will not join Vishwas in the rally. It is yet to be decided who will go there,” said Sanjay Singh, a member of the political affairs committee of AAP.
Mr Singh also denied that AAP is finding it tough to get members in Uttar Pradesh. He said a campaign has begun to collect donations in UP.
Alka Lamba, who was a general secretary of Congress and has now joined AAP refused to comment on whether it will be tough for AAP to get support in Amethi.
"I am new to the party. I have not gone into such details,” she said.