New Delhi: In a surprising move that could reverberate across the landscape of Opposition unity, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has thrown its hat into the ring for the Bihar Assembly elections scheduled in 2025. This decision, coming on the heels of the formation of the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) alliance comprising 26 parties, has the potential to reshape the dynamics of regional and national players in key states.
On Saturday, AAP’s General Secretary, Sandeep Pathak, convened a significant meeting in Delhi with the party’s organizational leaders from Bihar. The outcome of this meeting marked a pivotal moment as AAP formally announced its intention to contest the forthcoming Bihar elections. The discussions also centered on fortifying the party’s presence in a state where it has yet to establish significant footing.
Pathak, addressing the gathering, emphasized the necessity of strengthening AAP’s organizational structure in Bihar before plunging into the electoral fray. “We will contest elections in Bihar, but the party will decide when,” Pathak asserted. He underlined the importance of building committees in every village and cultivating a robust organizational foundation before seeking electoral victories.
Ironically, this announcement aligns with the prediction made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a parliamentary session earlier this month. Amid the backdrop of AAP’s collaboration with the Opposition, including the Congress, to counter the Centre’s Delhi services bill, Shah alluded to AAP’s potential withdrawal from the INDIA alliance once the contentious bill found its way through Parliament.
Amit Shah’s premonition proved accurate as AAP, while part of the INDIA alliance, strategically advanced its Bihar ambitions. This development takes on added significance given the proximity to the third meeting of the INDIA bloc scheduled for the end of August and early September.
Notably, Bihar’s selection as AAP’s battleground holds political symbolism. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, both crucial players in the Opposition, have been prominent supporters of Kejriwal’s political endeavors. Moreover, it was Nitish Kumar who spearheaded the mission to unite diverse Opposition parties under the INDIA umbrella, emphasizing the importance of the alliance.
The united Opposition’s previous meetings, held in Patna and Bengaluru, set the stage for cooperation and strategy against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The decision by AAP to contest the Bihar elections could trigger a reevaluation of the alliance’s dynamics, posing challenges to the envisioned unity against the ruling party.
As the political landscape evolves, all eyes are now focused on the upcoming Bihar elections and the subsequent INDIA alliance meeting, anticipating the repercussions of AAP’s strategic maneuver.