The Aam Aadmi Party launched its Tiranga Sankalpa Yatra in Ayodhya with Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh at the helm making promises of "true nationalism" ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections slotted for 2022.
As per an NDTV report, large crowds turned up at the rally in Faizabad, the 'twin town' to Ayodhya, where the Ram Temple is being built. Earlier this month Singh had declared that his party would contest all 403 seats and, in doing so, expose the BJP's "fake nationalism" and showcase its "real nationalism".
AAP has declared its intention to contest all seats on its own in Uttar Pradesh to take a stand against BJP's divisive politics with the tricolour as it symbolises unity in the face of communalism, reported Times of India.
भाई @msisodia जी के साथ हज़ारों साथियों संग अयोध्या की पावन धरती पर लहराया भारत की शान तिरंगा।
हिंदुस्तान ज़िंदाबाद। pic.twitter.com/Bn8DGuavN8
— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) September 14, 2021
Media reports pointed that it was an initiative to woo the Brahmins, a community that constitutes around 12 percent of the state's population and is a significant vote bank.
On Monday both Sisodia and Singh visited multiple temples in Ayodhya, including the site of the under-construction Ram Temple and the Hanumangarhi temple.
AAP has held similar rallies in Agra and Noida in the past.
State spokesperson Huda Zariwala defended that AAP's campaign was different from BJP's. "Ayodhya depicts the history and sentiments of people across the country. We believe in 'Ram Rajya' in the true essence. We are anything but the 'B Team' of the BJP. We believe in giving the voters exactly what they deserve," he said.
How did the BJP respond
Meanwhile, the BJP took a dig at the AAP leaders' affinity for Ayodhya. "There are leaders who earlier spoke against the Ram temple and they are now seeking refuge in the Lord," said UP deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya."
Previous performance of AAP
AAP had earlier contested for UP seats during the 2014 and 2019 Parliamentary elections from different cities but had failed to concretise their position in the state. Arvind Kejriwal himself had contested against Narendra Modi for the Varanasi seat in 2014 but had lost, coming in second before Congress.
"Our party is stronger than the Congress in the state. While the Congress won 40 seats in panchayat polls, we scored a victory in 83 panchayats. AAP got over 40 lakh votes in these polls, where 1,600 party candidates contested," Singh, who is AAP's UP in-charge, told the PTI in an interview.
"The AAP's model of governance focuses on education, health, education and providing basic facilities to the poor and needs. Our model is an answer to casteist and communal politics played by the BJP," Singh added.
With inputs from PTI