Mumbai: As Maharashtra`s main political players, the Congress-NCP alliance and BJP-Shiv Sena combine, brace for the Lok Sabha and subsequent state assembly polls this year, they would have to contend with a new opponent, the Aam Aadmi Party, which has decided to take the electoral plunge in a big way.
Arvind Kejriwal`s AAP, which made an electrifying electoral debut in the Delhi polls forming its government in the very first outing, has set up its units in all 35 districts of Maharashtra and is trying to penetrate deeper to taluka level and beyond.
AAP, with its core comprising the volunteers of Anna Hazare`s India Against Corruption movement, already has a significant potential support base in the state not new to aggressive social activism, courtesy the Gandhian and others like Medha Patkar.
"We have put in place structured committees in all the 35 districts in the state. In some talukas too, we are building a base, while we are working to set up committees at polling booth level," AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, a key member of Team-Kejriwal told a news agency.
The party, which galvanised ordinary voters, particularly the youth through its aggressive and sustained campaign through the social media, has already constituted 14 state-level committees for managing the elections.
These committees include experts in media management, volunteer training, manifesto drafting
The party is, however, yet to decide on the number of candidates it would field in the Lok Sabha polls from the state which sends 48 MPs, second to Uttar Pradesh (80).
When asked about the leadership issue in the state, Gandhi said AAP has a collective leadership with Anjali Damania as the state convenor.
"All our leaders at the district level are mass leaders who have been working in their areas for a long time. AAP is attracting not just professionals like Meera Sanyal (Royal Bank of Scotland CEO) and Sameer Nair (former chief executive of Star TV) but also dabbawalas, hawkers and autorickshaw unions," he said.