Will Goans opt for AAP in Goa Elections 2017?

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be trying its luck in the upcoming Goa Assembly elections 2017. The new entrant in the Goa political arena has been working since last year with a door-to-door campaign called 'Jhadu Yatra' to boost its chances in the Assembly polls.

Kejriwal has declared former bureaucrat Elvis Gomes as party's chief ministerial candidate for February 4 elections, who will be contesting from Conculim in South Goa.

Gomes, who served as Inspector General of Prisons and Urban Development Secretary, may come handy for AAP to take on incumbent Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

In an attempt to reach out to the Goans, AAP has focused on issues related to women. Besides promising five women police stations, the party has said that women lifeguards, changing rooms and toilets will be ensured for women on the beaches.

In its manifesto, the AAP has promised to provide sanitary napkins to school going girls and will also be made available at affordable prices across Goa in toilets through automatic dispensing machines.

If voted to power, the Kejriwal-headed AAP has assured of providing 50,000 jobs in five years through entrepreneurship development and by supporting existing and new industries.

The AAP has vowed to make Goa garbage free in a year and also assured to provide houses for all.

Keeping in mind the issue of the cultural identity of Goa, the party has promised "to provide special status to the coastal state to preserve its identity, culture and land resources".

Besides the above-mentioned aspects, the AAP has also touched upon the issue of drug menace and announced to ban the casinos operating in the coastal state.

However, there's some worry for Kejriwal, as some reports suggest that though AAP has emerged as a strong force in South Goa, but it is yet to mark an impact in the Hindu and Marathi-speaking areas of North and East Goa.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress are the two politically active fronts in the state. The entry of the AAP into Goa's political arena is sure to give jitters to the two national parties, especially the Congress, which suffered a death blow in Delhi in 2015 with the entry of the new front.