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AAP will fight all local bodies elections across India to expand base: Gopal Rai

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Buoyed by its massive victory in the Delhi assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to contest all elections to local bodies across the country as part of an ambitious plan to expand its footprint beyond the national capital. Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said the party has convened a meeting of its national executive on Sunday to deliberate on expanding the party by projecting its “positive nationalism”.Mr. Rai, a confidante of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, said the party has set its sight on contesting assembly elections in a number of states including Punjab in the first phase.“The agenda of Sunday’s meeting is to expand our organisation at the national level by including volunteers in large numbers and building party cadre across the country,” he said.Mr. Rai, a Minister in outgoing Kejriwal government, said people will be able to join AAP’s ‘nation building campaign’ by giving a missed call on the phone number — 9871010101. “We will reach out to people through this campaign and make them volunteers in large numbers. The party will contest elections of all local bodies across the country. AAP will fight upcoming local bodies elections in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat,” he said.Mr. Rai called BJP’s nationalism “negative”, asserting that AAP will expand its base by highlighting on “positive nationalism“.“In Delhi, we spread positive nationalism which is based on love and respect. The BJP’s nationalism is based on hatred and divisive politics,” he said.“The experiment done by the AAP in Delhi has become a role model for the entire country. Our nationalism is positive nationalism which gives guarantee of good education, health care and livelihood to every section of the society including farmers,” he said. On beng asked about BJP’s attack on Mr. Kejriwal for reciting Hanuman Chalisa on a TV channel in the run up to the assembly elections, Mr. Rai said for the Bhartiya Janata Party, religion is a “political weapon”, but for the people of the country, religion is a belief.“The BJP does not respect people of India and it sees every person as its vote bank,” he said. In the Delhi polls, the AAP recorded a massive victory winning 62 of the 70 seats while BJP bagged the remaining eight seats. The Congress drew a blank for the second consecutive time.

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