India’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), formed only a decade ago and having claimed power in Delhi and Punjab state, is set to be the biggest gainer in assembly elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat next month.
AAP boss and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is known to have national ambitions. A strong showing in Gujarat, a prosperous state of more than 60 million, could indicate whether his party’s appeal has widened beyond smaller states ahead of the 2024 general election.
According to a projection by ABP-CVoter, AAP’s vote share in Gujurat is expected to rise to 20% from zero five years ago, mainly at the expense of the main opposition Congress party, which dominated Indian politics before being drubbed by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the last two general elections.
Seven voters in Gujarat’s Surat city, a diamond cutting and polishing hub, told Reuters they had been drawn to AAP’s promise to improve education and healthcare – both areas where the party says it has delivered results in Delhi since 2015.
“Ninety-nine per cent I am going to vote for Aam Adam Party,” said diamond worker Bharat Patel.