Is something wrong with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)?


The AAP, facing a barrage of allegations, is steadfast in its resolve to make a difference in things that affect the common citizens the most - education, electricity, water and other necessities.

Is something wrong with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)?

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  1. A great start : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged in November 2012 from the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement led by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, which demanded the passage of a Jan Lokpal Bill since 2011. Anna was always opposed to the idea of floating a political party, but Arvind Kejriwal thought otherwise and floated the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). He got massive support.
  2. Principled stand : The party was formed on the principles of clean and corruption-free politics. It support not only from the common people but also from intellectuals and thinkers, both within and outside India. Many people quit their overseas jobs to work for the party, and gave huge donations. Many felt it was the turning point in the history of Indian politics.
  3. Delhi elections 2013 and 2015 : AAP received massive public support in the Delhi elections, first in 2013 when it won 28 seats, and then again in February 2015 when it swept the polls with a thumping 67 seats out of a total of 70 seats.
  4. Credibility crisis : Slowly, month after month, various incidents ensured that AAP and its convener Arvind Kejriwal started losing credibility. He has been known to level corruption charges against many politicians, but could not substantiate them with credible evidences (One example : 370 pages corruption charges list against the then Delhi CM Sheila Dixit). On the contrary, currently, many AAP MLAs and even ministers themselves are facing criminal and corruption charges. Today, party convener Kejriwal faces many defamation litigations. While that can be still seen with a sympathetic eye, his own partymen involved in corruption seems unforgivable.
  5. Interference by Central Government : AAP has regularly blamed the Union Government (i.e. the BJP) of interfering in the most basic of operations that the Delhi govt should be allowed to carry out. Further complications arise from the LG’s office and unilateral major decisions that make the concept of Delhi Assembly being a representative force look like a joke. Kejriwal’s latest salvo “EC is the Dhritrashtra and Modi is the Duryodhan” is symbolic of that frustration.
  6. Allegations of dictatorial tendency : The party lacks inner party democracy (which is the case with nearly all other parties too). People allege that issues are not discussed in a democratic manner and decisions taken arbitrarily. Hence, the natural question asked is, what is different in AAP?
  7. Too much of a hurry : The party seemed to be in too much of a hurry to expand its base at a national level. Of the 400 candidates fielded in the Lok Sabha elections 2014, only 4 victories were recorded (1%). The party also fielded 359 candidates in the 2012 UP assembly elections, but failed to make an impression. It is important for any party to establish itself, prove itself and then expand. Punjab and Goa are also examples of the same rush. The short-cut did not help AAP’s cause.
  8. Founders expelled : The party suffered a huge blow when two its most prominent founder members – Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan –  were unceremoniously expelled from the party. This resulted in a lot of intellectuals quitting the party.
  9. Direct attack backfired : Over-ambition (contesting against Modi in Varanasi) and lack of consistency in decisions is another problem. The party now faces a huge challenge in the MCD elections in Delhi. A win will help the party to re-establish itself as a political force that cannot be easily overlooked. India needs diversity in its political setup, and parties like the AAP can still restore some of that balance.
  10. Claims of works being done that positively affect common people : However, the mass base of AAP does not seem to be eroding anytime soon at least in Delhi. Party's leader and Deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia has claimed that they are victims of a major backlash from the multiple mafias that AAP has taken on directly. He lists these as the "tanker mafia", "education mafia of private schools", "electricity mafia", "parking mafia" that were overcharging in services and feeding corruption money to leaderships of major political parties. On allegations that waiving of house tax is a bad idea, Manish Sisodia says that they have saved thousands of crores of rupees through eliminating corruption and that the people on the ground have experienced the benefits. He says that education and medical services have improved drastically and they will benefit a lot due to that.
  11. By-election defeat in Delhi? When quizzed upon the April 2017 defeat in Assembly by-elections in a Delhi seat held by AAP earlier, they candidly admit it was public anger against their MLA who resigned to fight in the Punjab elections. They go on to quote the BJP's defeats in by-elections in Varanasi and Lucknow immediately after BJP's massive 2014 Lok Sabha victories, stating that nothing is final in the world of politics. The AAP is repeatedly reasserting that the very fact that BJP is getting its top leaders from across India to canvass for the municipality elections speaks volumes for the mass support the AAP enjoys.

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Bodhi Saar: Is something wrong with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)?
Is something wrong with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)?
The AAP, facing a barrage of allegations, is steadfast in its resolve to make a difference in things that affect the common citizens the most - education, electricity, water and other necessities.
Bodhi Saar
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