On 5 June, the Aam Aadmi Party clarified that national convener Arvind Kejriwal would not be projected as the chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections.
"It is baseless. It's all rumours. There is no substance in it. Kejriwal will not leave Delhi government," said AAP national spokesman Ashutosh. He also said that the AAP had not taken a call on the chief ministerial face for Punjab polls.
"We have not decided who will be chief ministerial candidate. We believe that the democratic process in due course of time will throw up a leader. We have many competent leaders and any of them can take up the responsibility," Ashutosh said.
"At the right time, the democratic process will throw a leader. Everybody is asking the question who will be the CM candidate in Punjab or Goa. Let the democracy decide. "Whether to go with the face and contest election or go without a face, is the call that the party will have to take," the AAP leader said.
"It is a matter of strategy whether we want to go ahead with the CM face or not," he further said.
"But the party is trying to expand its organisational base in every state. Major work is happening in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra and all the southern states," he said.
"The party knows that it has national appeal, but before deciding to jump in the electoral fray, it would like to strengthen its organisation. When our organisation is well placed, then the party will take a call on whether to contest election or not," he said.
Ashutosh also ruled out that Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal's absence from the national capital during campaigning for Goa and Punjab would affect the functioning of his government.
"Everybody says AAP is a one-man party and without Arvind the party has no existence. This belies logic. There is enough talent in Delhi. Our Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is a very competent Cabinet minister," he said.
"The systems are already in place. (Delhi) Government is very well settled I don't see that his coming here will have any kind of effect on Delhi government functioning. If there is any consultation then in today's age of technological revolution, he is available on phone and Skype for any kind of consultation," Ashutosh added.