The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Maharashtra made a U-turn and Thursday announced it would contest both the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls. The party has decided to field candidates in constituencies where it feels it is strong. Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh (80), and a 288-member assembly. Assembly polls in Maharashtra are due in the second half of 2019.
AAP leader Brigadier (retd) Sudhir Sawant, speaking to reporters, said, "The AAP Maharashtra will contest both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Wherever a possibility appears of defeating the BJP, the party would contest the polls."
Earlier this week, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party had said it has decided not to contest elections in Maharashtra.
AAP's national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon had said the party will fight Lok Sabha polls in four states Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Goa, but not in Maharashtra.
Sawant, however, claimed people are tired of the BJP's "fake" promises and are looking for an alternative.
"The 2019 Lok Sabha election will be a battle between not only political coalitions but also personalities. Tired of BJP's fake announcements, people are looking for an alternative.
"It was evident from the manner in which the BJP was defeated in the five states which went to polls in November and December," he said.
According to AAP sources, the state executive committee, in its meeting on January 19, decided that ticket aspirants should submit their applications by January 30.
After the perusal and review of applications, the final names of candidates will be declared. "Efforts are also on to forge an alliance of anti-BJP parties for the polls. The decision about this will be taken on February 5," said a party insider.