An Indian view on history, current affairs and politics

May 24, 2017

Why AAP’s brinkmanship maybe it’s Achilles heel

kejri
“Sheila gone, Modi next”, screamed headlines of a national daily quoting AAP leaders. Buoyed by their unexpected success, the exuberance of AAP leaders is understandable, however going by their utterances on news channels, seems they’re taking this seriously.

AAP’s debut in Delhi is spectacular given that they’re just a year old party. A party made up entirely of volunteers, although a sting earlier by media-sarkar showed this may not be true, campaign driven by nukkad sabhas, concerts and massive social media propaganda seems to have conveyed the message to their targeted audience. They need to be congratulated for this performance.

AAP got the dream start in Anna’s Janlokpal andolan and extracted the maximum mileage piggybacking it. Anna’s agitation was apolitical and hence got wide support, from industry, bollywood, media and several organisations including the RSS. This gave Kejriwal the publicity, exposure, support and funds he needed to launch AAP.

There is massive anger in the country against the ruling congress government at center. Incompetence, arrogance and corruption of monumental proportions coupled with sheer brazenness in defending the scams has built up an anti congress wave in the country. The Sheila government in Delhi was just an extension of that government. AAP had perfect grounds to launch their campaign. Given the momentum from Anna agitation, clean image of Kejriwal, palpable public anger against congress, Delhi was theirs for taking. Unlike BJP, they were new and had no history behind them to be answerable for.

Let’s leave the history aside for a moment. A month prior to Delhi elections, AAP was at top of almost all opinion polls while BJP was languishing at third place. BJP had nominated Dr. Harshvardhan as its CM candidate who only had 4% approval rating against Kejriwal’s 44%. AAP’s internal survey was pegging the party tally between 47-56 seats. and yet AAP could not go beyond 28 while BJP emerged as the single largest party. Delhi was the epicenter of Anna agitation and AAP was expected to do its best here. Poll data proves AAP mostly ate Congress and others vote share while BJP remained largely intact.

Kejriwal’s risk against Sheila might have paid off and i concede the fact that only he could have defeated her. She epitomized everything that was wrong with congress. Elitist leader aloof from people’s woes and indifferent to corruption and incompetence, she had to go and thank god she went. But a resurgent BJP under Modi is a different ball game. BJP has given good governance in states they’ve ruled and they’ve achievements to back their claim. People’s satisfaction is manifested in third term for BJP in Gujarat,MP, Chattisgarh and landslide victory in Rajasthan. Going into 2014, BJP has solid achievements to back their claim for the top job. AAP can not only rely on complaining  against government and corruption, a plank already takenover by BJP on national scale. People would not want to vote a party whose only achievement is a hung assembly.

The Modi wave was instrumental in these elections and can be cited as one of the reasons why AAP lost to BJP. Internal AAP survey concedes 48% of their voters will vote for Modi. The way Arvind Kejriwal is celebrated in Media reminds me of Rahul Gandhi after 2009 election results. Politics is a long road littered with gravestones of brilliant flashes similar to AAP. They need to be careful lest they may end up as yet another promise that failed to live up to expectations.

  • AAP Wins

    people are jealous of AAP and Arvind kejriwal. he will defeat modi just like Sheila

    • Sneha

      Keep dreaming .Why would BJP be jealous of Kejriwal ? Modi is too big for him.

    • SHENOYBV

      there is no tax on day dreaming.

  • AAPkaModi

    I’ve voted for AAP but i’ll vote for BJP in 2014.

  • aasare

    Well its true the national parties under estimated AAP. But until 2-3 weeks back BJP stood no chance in the elections as per most opinion polls which put them on 3rd place. So the fact that they did a course correction is commendable and of course the credit for BJP’s course correction does go to AAP. BJP atleast took the hint to change. But AAP’s next steps will determine what they stand for. I heard an interview with Kejriwal whereby he was asked about how he would control prices and he said we will allow the public to decide the prices, frankly dont understand what that means. So whatever u have written about national parties ignoring AAP is also true about media which has not asked as much questions about AAP and its policies as it should have. As of now media has only focused on utopian promises and great if they can succeed in that, hopefully they wont dole out the same despair and disappointment that VP Singh doled out to students of this country two decages ago. NTR stood for Telugu pride and thats the reason he won, not just because he was a star. Check out how the other stars have fared. PRP created equal amount of hype but what did they do? sold out Andhra……..and now even though AP ensured UPA win for 2 continous terms, where is AP now…battered and divided and left to fend for itself? Does media care to answer about the hype which it created around PRP?

    • Suneha

      if you are following the Delhi Elections ? If so u can understand the reason for AAP staying away from BJP. BJP is not a clean party either. BJP in Karnataka is a good example. Ppl in other Raj, MP and Chit have no other good options so, they voted for BJP against Congress. Rather, it is clear that ppl are against to both BJP and Congress.

      • Arjun

        No you are wrong. Maybe you should read the article again.

        One, the author is arguing and correctly that Modi brought a change in BJP by bringing in Dr Harshvardhan. And believe me AAP had no hand in it no matter what people want to believe. BJP is a democratic party and looks internally when coming to important decisions. And AAP which is external organisation could not have influenced this decision or any decision in the BJP.

        Secondly, people in other states voted for BJP because they wanted to. There are many regional parties in all Indian states which could have take away the BJP votes if people were truly unhappy. Also it does not explain the overwhelming victory in three states. If people actually thought that BJP and Congress are the same that should have seen much more equal distribution of votes and voting share and which is not the case.

        Thirdly, AAP is not a new phenomenon no matter what you want to believe. New parties have been emerging in all states on the basis of anti-corruption and other such agenda, saying that they are all different. Only time will tell how different AAP actually is.

        I personally think it is another pseudo-secular and anti-nationalist kid in the new block but in new and attractive colour. And people should not fall for it.

    • SHENOYBV

      I agree with you totally. Chiranjeevi is the best example of how people’s aspirations can be betrayed so easily. Arvind kejrival even has objection to Harsh Vardhan being nominated to the CM’s post by the party leadership! He says Vardhan should have been appointed by the Aam Aadmi!!!!Can you get a more absurd “leader”?

      AAP’s Kejrival and his pseudo activists as they have been described by a perceptive Sharad Pawar, have promised the people of Delhi so much, but when the time has come for them to deliver on their promises, Kejri is saying, “Let the BJP do it”!!!! This is the height of irreposnsibility and casualness, besides escapism.

  • kaushal

    It’s really a fine article.. and i am also a BJP
    supporter..but…lets reconsider some facts ….

    1. the article claims “AAP got the dream start in
    Anna’s Janlokpal andolan and extracted the maximum mileage piggybacking
    it” —

    but as far as i remember, it had a real rough start..
    niether it had experience of campaigning..nor had the money..most of them were
    youngsters….apart from all this the biggest risk it took was getting separated
    from Anna’s purely apolitical agitation . Not only this well known figures like
    kiran bedi ,Anna himself and many others did not approve his approach ….
    you would definitely agree that society at large , was more or less,
    biased towards Anna..these all facts not only triggered discussions but many referred
    this as ” suicidal attempt ” by kejriwal..(–instead of publicity or exposure)..

    2. Also u would agree most of the news channels are being
    funded and are one way or the other supporters of either of the two national
    giants BJP or INC ..
    so AAP never got the required coverage and appreciation infact had to struggle to be highlighted
    even if their deeds were fruitful and helping for the society..Infact had to struggle thru sting operations in which they were falsely implicated ( refers to kumar vishwash case) . And plz note all this transpired when they were struggling to their lack of experience in politics, campaigning, how to collect funds and that too legally.

    3. I partially agree to ur statement “Unlike BJP, they
    were new and had no history behind them to be answerable for ” .

    Instead I would say “LACK OF POLITICAL HISTORY” or
    more appropriately “LACK OF GOVERNANCE KNOWLEDGE ” . I said this coz usually in India when
    a voter casts his vote he keeps the leadership in mind rather than the MLA and
    as far as the history of leadership (kejriwal) is concerned , even u urself
    would give him one of the top positions(based on his clean and clear
    background—–leader with a clean HISTORY).

    4.I agree, its hard to live upto expectations , but don’t u
    think , we should give this new hope a chance , so that if AAP succeeds our
    nation will have at least a bit cleaner political alternative in long run, that
    too being run by youngsters who really wish(as of now) to change the political scenario of
    our country and bring a govt. which to some extent believes in the quote
    “to the people, for the people and by the people”

    PS: I am a NaMo fan at heart @ national level , but as far
    as delhi and its political scenario particularly at state level is concerned ,
    i have an affinity for AAP. But would love if you still give me few reasons to
    put my faith in BJP @ delhi .

    • Arjun

      AAP did get good media coverage because of Congress’s miscalculations which made sure their propaganda spread far and wide. And most media houses are controlled by Congress, not BJP though some houses may align with the BJP’s ideology if it is not funded by Congress.

      • kaushal

        Arjun i visited this page “http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/page/common-misconceptionsrumorsfalsehoods-about-the-aap ” and went through point number 10 . where they have discussed this issue . Hope this might give some support to what i said above.

        • Arjun

          I think it would be very stupid for anybody to trust their website. If you want some real information regarding AAP’s coverage on TV you should seek more independent sources.

          This is not the first time I have been directed to AAP website by its supporters in response to any valid criticism of the AAP. And each time I have found it incredibly stupid of the AAP supporters to quote AAP’s website.

          For that matter after going through that crap of an article, I can also tell you that their first three points are plain lies. Fourth point, AAP might not be funded by Congress but both the parties are ideologically similar in both theory and practice. Only difference is that AAP is also leftist and hence more dangerous. And there seventh point is propaganda. Legally speaking, any party is registered by the Election commission as State, National etc when its candidates get elected at that level. For now AAP is a Delhi State political party. Also, point nine, is plain stupid. The Court’s will only follow a case when somebody files a case. Considering that AAP has all the proof why does it not fight case? And whose responsibility it should be if not their’s?

          You are free to have your own view point but I have detailed out my own thought process about the party.

    • Sumen Patra

      Everything that AAP promises is already with BJP. Honest and clean leadership, proven track record. AAP has turned into a group of leftists who only complain do not act.

      • kaushal

        its hardly an year old party …..and people’s expectations are soaring high..and AAP has so far not disappointed them considering the fact that they are out of power..
        and as far as their actions are concerned they have provided
        support to rape victims, worked in Uttarakhand during calamity…and many more …..( all this u can get from internet )

        well, to be honest as a common man I dont care which so ever party it is….be it BJP , congress or AAP , what all i care about is I should get a clean and transparent governance.
        As a voter i have given ample chance to others , and now i want to try out new option (AAP) and that too with a credible leadership(Kejriwal).
        And i dont see them as leftist….infact i more or less find them to be concerned with common man’s problems and its solutions.

        • AnotherIndian

          Its their own promise… not BJP / Congress told them to promise these things to the people. They did it… now seeing sympathy for them is too wrong… if you see BJP ruled delhi before 15 years, that government was also new…. so why u did not feel sad for them.. we need great leaders and great talkers or speech writers or cynics… Till now what they did was bashing everyone…. I m nt telling that their victory is small… but humbleness is more wanted.. the people can keep any one over the head and put them down once their work is not done… Sheila is one example…. so being humble in politics is what makes different… that AAP lost entirely… Honesty is not only about money but about character and humbleness and integrity.. just see shivraj, raman singh talk.. take even harsh vardhan.. these people achieved lot of things but still not going out is because of their humbleness…

    • tamilan

      the rss and bjp put its weight behind anna and the movement thats why it succeeded in delhi and failed big time in other parts of the country.modi is a time tested leader who got huge support base even in states where the party has no presence like kerala and tamilnadu.check your facts correct and then write here.if aap gets atleast 2 lok sabha seats i will accept and prostrate before you. the bjp which made this movement a grand success failed to capitalize it becoz of its internal squabbles and by people like malhotra who acted as b-team of congress till now.lets see after this point what aap will face.better they prepared to face the music.

      • kaushal

        I din’t get ur point..i mean which fact needs to b corrected…and if u go thru the post , i emphasized more on recent state election outcomes (delhi)….not the lok sabha seats.
        And as far as movement’s failure is concerned…u need to check ur facts..it not only gathered support in delhi but also in banglore, mumbai,….and many other cities…even many indians abroad voiced their support for the movement…
        I guess u need to correct ur facts on this.

  • AAPSupporter

    AAP is changing India and BJP is scared it will be swept like Congress

    • SHENOYBV

      BJP doesn’t have to do anything with Kejri. The congress has already prepared its blue print to destroy AAP.

  • SHENOYBV

    One important aspect of this election in Delhi, which curiously is not even being mentioned by any analyst, is the voting by the minority community of the city. After Kajri shook hands with the Mullah, Kejri became very self-assured even to the point of being arrogant, because then he knew that he was going to win. See how the Muslims have resorted to tactical voting, away from thee congress and into the AAP kitty and how the party benefited!

  • rohit

    Let Arvind Keijrwal contest from where Mr. Modi contests in Gujarat and experience humiliating defeat like sheila.

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