After Delhi success, AAP to go national

Ghaziabad: A month after it took power in Delhi after crushing the BJP and the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced on Tuesday that it has decided to go national.

"After our spectacular victory in Delhi and seeing the love of the people, we have decided to expand at the national level," party leader Sanjay Singh told the media here.

The AAP's Political Affairs Committee (PAC), its highest decision-making body, also decided to enrol "active volunteers" and to form a committee to decide their role in different states.

Five of the PAC's seven members met at the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who returned to the capital late on Monday after 10 days of naturopathy treatment in Bengaluru for his nagging cough and high blood sugar.

The AAP, India's youngest political party, would also decide in which states it should contest elections, Sanjay Singh said.

He added that the crisis in the party would soon end, and party leaders would reach out to Prashant Bhushan, who, along with Yogendra Yadav, was ousted from the PAC this month.

Those who took part in the meeting included Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, Delhi minister Gopal Rai, Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh. Ashish Khetan and Dilip Pandey also attended. Two PAC members were not in town.

Tuesday's announcement marks the most significant decisions taken by the AAP following the return to Delhi of Kejriwal, who had earlier expressed his reservations about fighting elections in other parts of the country.

Yadav has time and again insisted that party spreads itself.

AAP leaders have in the past stated that the party was determined to contest the next assembly election in Punjab, where it scored a quarter of all votes in the Lok Sabha polls. Of over 400 Lok Sabha seats it contested, the party won only four seats in Punjab.

The AAP is also said to be keen to fight municipal elections in Mumbai and Bengaluru, two cities where it enjoys a wide network of volunteers.

Kejriwal loyalists had a late Monday night meeting with Yadav.

"We met and discussed the issues. We will definitely let you know if something constructive happens," Sanjay Singh told the media on Tuesday.

Later in the day, Kejriwal reportedly sent a text message to Bhushan saying "will meet soon". Bhushan had sought time with Kejriwal.

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