The fact that the party's national joint secretary and in-charge of Maharashtra, Gopal Italia, announced that the party will set up a full-fledged organisation and contest "all small and big polls" in the state, testifies that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led party is re-emerging in the state amidst the changing political dynamics
Following its emphatic victory in the Municipal Council of Delhi elections and Punjab legislative assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi party is eyeing Mumbai and Maharashtra.
The fact that the party's national joint secretary and in-charge of Maharashtra, Gopal Italia, announced that the party will set up a full-fledged organisation and contest "all small and big polls" in the state, testifies that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led party is re-emerging in the state amidst the changing political dynamics.
Slamming the political parties in the state, Italia, in an exclusive interview with mid-day, said that these parties are working for their own benefits and busy amongst themselves. "Show me one speech of the local politicians or leaders where they speak about helping and working for the citizens."
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He said that no party is concerned about the problems of the common people. No party addresses the problems of water and tender mafias in the state. "Neither the opposition parties nor the ruling parties are address this issue." This, he said, shows they all are working for their own benefits.
Italia said he was shocked to know that a ‘toilet mafia’ is operating in Mumbai. “These ‘toilet mafias’ control 60 per cent of Mumbai. People have actually captured public toilets and if common people want to use them they are forced to follow the rules of the ‘mafia’. The common toilets built in chawls and slums are controlled by the mafia. The mafia controls even the water in the city."
He said after so many years of India’s freedom, people in the city still have to face such issues. "These all are local body issues that the AAP will fight for.”
Asked how the party plans to tackle the civic issues in Mumbai, Italia said it is not only about Mumbai. The party plans to focus on the entire state. The state has many Municipal Corporations and Nagar Parishads, "we will focus on all of them".
Italia said that on his next visit to the state he will tour across Maharashtra, meet people, understand their problems and add new people to the party. "We will fight for every issue concerning the common man, not only in Mumbai, but anywhere in the state. If need be, we will take to the streets for protests or even move to. From minor issues to the bigger ones, we will fight for the betterment of the citizens," he said.
Speaking on any possibilities of alliances with the Opposition to fight against the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Italia said it was too early to say anything.
"Congress, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are already together and united. It is not new, nor have they joined hands for BMC elections. Like I said, it is too early; we will see what can be done ahead of elections.”
Speaking about his appointment as the party's in-charge for Maharashtra, Italia said he will meet people from across the state and strengthen the party's roots in Mumbai and Maharashtra.
Calling the ‘Delhi model’ of governance successful, Italia said, “Aam Aadmi Party will replicate the ‘Delhi Model’ in Maharashtra and Mumbai. It is a successful model of government. The ‘Delhi model of development’ promotes corruption free government, good education, health care, cheap power and water which helps the common people. Hence, I believe that people of Maharashtra and Mumbai should also get the ‘Kejriwal model of development’.”