Many members of the Indian diaspora have celebrated the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) historic victory in Punjab.
“We worked hard for the party’s victory. Now is the time to celebrate,” says Rakesh Prajapati, the AAP leader in Australia.
AAP enjoys a fair share of support among the 20-million-strong Indian diaspora. The party has won a whopping majority of 92 seats in the 117-member assembly in Punjab.
Outgoing Chief Minister CS Channi lost both the seats he contested while his party was reduced to 18 seats. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) got three seats, while one seat each went to Bahujan Samaj Party and an independent.
Rakesh Prajapati says this is the victory of quality politics.
“The voters of Punjab realised that AAP deserved a chance after trying everyone. They have seen our performance in Delhi and want to have the model of development replicated in Punjab,” Prajapati told NRI Affairs.
He agreed that the farmers’ movement played a role in his party’s victory but argued that the voters rejected Congress too over AAP.
Prajapati says NRI supporters of the party played a crucial role in the election.
“Many travelled to India to campaign in support of the party. Many others helped financially as our party only accepts clean money. We also ran a phone campaign in which people called back to their families and friends in India aiming to convince them to vote for AAP candidates,” Prajapati said.
AAP is now eying to replicate Punjab’s success in Gujarat and Himachal, the two states that would go into elections later this year.
“Yes, we are ready. We have started working in that direction. Of course, it takes time to convince people that clean politics is possible, but in the end, people understand,” said elated Prajapati.