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AAP eyes West Bengal Panchayat elections of 2023

Kolkata (West Bengal): After a resounding victory in Punjab polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is now eying West Bengal Panchayat polls scheduled to be held next year. The AAP on Monday announced that it would contest the 2023 Panchayat elections in West Bengal and has already begun campaigning for the same."Aam Aadmi Party will contest the 2023 Panchayat elections in West Bengal. On the instructions of the party high command, the local unit has already started its campaign. AAP held a rally in Kolkata on March 13", said Sanjoy Basu, Incharge, AAP, West Bengal. Meanwhile, Reacting to AAP entering Bengal politics, BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya said, "We have seen AAP when they had come to Bengal. That time, they could not gather workers and they went away. It's a democratic country. People have the right to contest elections from anywhere they want but it's useless as they are uncountable in Bengal. What happened to Mamata Banerjee in Goa? Her competitors were Independent candidates. In Bengal, it will be the same for AAP." Through an official release on Monday, West Bengal's AAP said, "On 13 March, Aam Aadmi Party, Woman's Wing held a state conclave at Kolkata. It has been resolved in that meet that a state-level Steering Committee of Aap Mahila Shakti will be formed to strengthen the wing further up to block level in next six months." The release further said that the Central Observers from Delhi has chosen five people who will coordinate with all other office bearers of the Party in every district of West Bengal. For AAP, Deity Das will coordinate from North 24 Parganas, Soma Bhadra from Kolkata, Subhra Banerjee from Howrah, Tanuka Santra from Hoogly and Gargee Bose from South 24 Parganas. AAP's contesting in Panchayat polls will put Arvind Kejriwal's party directly in the path of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) as both the parties are aspiring to expand their national footprint. They both contested the Goa polls separately at a time when CM Banerjee was calling out to the opposition parties to unite against the BJP. Besides West Bengal, AAP will hit the ground in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat which will go to poll in November this year. "As far as Himachal is concerned, it borders Punjab where AAP just swept the Assembly polls. The AAP is hopeful that the wave of Punjab will also reach Himachal Pradesh" said a source. The AAP registered a landslide victory in the Punjab polls winning 92 seats, pushing most of its rivals to the margins. Congress won 18 seats in the 117-member Assembly.

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