PUNE: The Maharashtra unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is still awaiting the go-ahead from its central leadership to contest Lok Sabha elections in the state, including the Pune parliamentary constituency.

The state unit of the party had announced its plan to contest the polls about a month ago. Leaders from the state unit said a detailed plan has been drawn for Maharashtra where they would be contesting about eight seats in the state. In the 2014 LS elections, the party had contested from all 48 seats in the state without success. “We will be restricting ourselves to five to eight seats as we will be campaigning on our own. We hope to contest one seat from Pune parliamentary constituency, three from Mumbai and two from Nashik and Nagpur. The final decision will be taken by the central leadership soon,” a party leader said.

The AAP leaders have maintained that those who have been with AAP have remained loyal. The ones who defected to the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi were breakaway factions, a leader claimed.

When asked about contesting the Pune seat where the BJP leader Girish Bapat’s name has already been announced, the leaders said that people want change. The party may struggle with funds but their agenda is to bring about a change for the city and many citizens’ groups support them.

Officials said the party leaders are concentrating on Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. AAP had won four seats from Punjab in the last elections — out of 432 seats they contested across the country. They had a national vote share of about 2.05%.

A report released by the Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election watch recently pointed out that no winning candidate from AAP had secured more than 50 per cent votes in 2014.

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