After tasting electoral success in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday said it would contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from 20 states, including Uttar Pradesh, where it would field candidates from all 80 constituencies.
"The national executive of the AAP has decided to contest the Lok Sabha polls in 20 states including UP, where we will contest on all 80 Lok Sabha seats," AAP National Spokesman Sanjay Singh told reporters.
He said Kumar Vishwas is likely to contest against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, while candidates against prominent leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav would be decided soon.
"We will try to finalise the names of candidates by February 15. All those who want to contest the Lok Sabha polls can apply by January 15. Those applying would have to be recommended by at least 100 people each from all the assembly constituencies in his or her area," he said.
The applications would be scrutinised by district and state-level monitoring committees before finalisation of the names, Singh said.
The party, besides declaring its national manifesto, would also make public its manifesto at local levels covering issues pertaining to that area, he said.
Replying to a question, Singh alleged that leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan, Farooq Abdullaha, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and others called themselves secular despite the fact that they had teamed up with the Bharatiya Janata Party in the past.
"Now, they are with Congress and are labelling themselves as secular," he said.
He said the AAP was in favour of diverting development funds of Members of Parliament and legislators to mohalla and gram sabhas so that the people could decide where public money would be spent.
On January 12, the party will hold a 'Jan Vishwas' (public confidence) rally in Amethi.
Accepting that issues like religion and caste politics were challenges in Uttar Pradesh, Singh said his party would concentrate on local issues and try to divert the attention of the people from caste and religion.
Asked about ways to deal with caste politics prevailing in the state, Singh said the mindset of the people was changing fast, as was apparent in Delhi elections.