A veteran Aam Aadmi Party leader on Sunday said Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal would not contest the Lok Sabha elections this year from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported.

Kejriwal had contested from the seat during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who defeated him by a margin of more than three lakh votes.

“Kejriwal will not contest the Lok Sabha polls, as he wants to give special focus to his state,” the news agency quoted party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh as saying. “The AAP will contest on all the Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Goa. The party will contest on some seats in Uttar Pradesh, and final modalities will be worked out by February. Apart from Varanasi, the party will contest from seats in eastern and western Uttar Pradesh, where the organisation is strong.”

Singh said that in Delhi the party was working on improving education and health facilities, providing power and drinking water, and helping farmers. “If we foray into national politics, then our issues will be education for all, free education to economically weaker sections of the society, ending unemployment and implementing the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission,” he said.

When asked about Kejriwal’s recent statement warning people against voting for the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections, Singh said the AAP chief was quoted out of context. “He had said that in a meeting in the national capital that if you want to defeat the BJP, then do not waste your vote by casting it in favour of the Congress,” Singh added. “His statement was in the context of Delhi, from where the AAP is contesting on all the seats.”