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What has the AAP changed ?




(This is a guest post by Madhav Sharma. If you want to create a guest post here, please use this link)

“AAP is a chillar party.”
“Don’t waste your vote on AAP.”
“AAP will not get more than 10 seats.”

These statements were making rounds before the results of Delhi elections (2013) were announced. It was clearly visible that both the national parties were contesting against each other, completely ignoring the presence of the Aam Aadmi Party. Most of the political pundits and surveys did not give much weight to Arvind Kejriwal’s party, and they were only considered as “party-spoilers.”

Yes, they have spoiled the party. In fact, in Delhi, they have absolutely demolished the Congress party, and they are standing neck-to-neck with the Bhartiya Janta Party. It is true that nobody expected Aam Aadmi Party to do this well, but the party and its worker, always believed that they will do well, and they did.

Arvind Kejriwal had been an income-tax officer until 2006, and he decided to quit his job due to the widespread corruption in the system. But, it was after the Anna movement, that Arvind Kejriwal became a household name. Anna was the main face of the movement, but Kejriwal was the chief architect. Right from addressing the pressers to other activities; Kejriwal held the movement together.

It was after the repeated failures to connect with politicians, that Kejriwal decided to form his own political party. After Anna Hazare made it clear that he will not join politics, Kejriwal knew that things will go from bad to worse, without their main face, but he kept fighting. It would be just fair to say that Kejriwal’s association with Anna Hazare helped him develop a good name among the people of Delhi, but it was his vision, clarity of thought, consistency and a fearless mindset, that made him achieve what he has achieved today. There were times when he was too arrogant to trust, there were times when he sounded “self-centered”, there were times when he was trying to scandalize everything, but, having said all this, he never changed his stance. He was consistent, and this is something we don’t associate with politicians in India.

AAP’s Election Campaign- A new experience

AAP’s election campaign was a new experience for the people of Delhi. For a change, it wasn’t a suffocating one. It was much more than just garlands, stickers, caps and hoardings. And, the major difference was – AAP had volunteers and not fanatic workers. The volunteers of AAP made great attempts to reach out to aam aadmi, and they were everywhere; from traffic signals to shopping malls. It was a refreshing experience for the voters of Delhi, because these volunteers knew exactly what they were saying. And, surprisingly, irrespective of the mass campaign that was done by the AAP, not even a single incident of violence was reported. For me, who has seen crazy, violent election campaigns over the years, this was indeed a very soothing experience.

As a Delhi voter, I would like to concede that AAP’s campaign was the best I have seen till date.

What Has the Aam Aadmi Party Changed?

Delhi has always been the hub of “Shehzada” culture, where the son of a big politician makes a short-cut entry into politics and purely on the basis of his father’s so-called image, he manages to win the election.

In this year’s election, the AAP candidates, who were contesting for the time, defeated the “Shehzadas” of Delhi, that too with big margins. I would like to believe that this will lead to better allocation of election tickets and the political parties will start looking beyond the dynasty politics.

It is true that politics is all about power, but the success of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi has brought a change that nobody was expecting. In a very interesting move, the single largest party in Delhi, the Bhartiya Janta Party, has not made any visible attempt to form the government. In fact, just 2 hours after the results were announced, the Chief Ministerial candidate of the BJP denied the possibility of horse-trading, when his party has been involved in such practices before.

Maybe it’s too early to say, but the “aaya-ram, gaya-ram” culture seems to have taken the backseat.

What Lies Ahead?

After all the promises and the most good looking manifesto ever, Arvind Kejriwal and his MLAs need to be better-than-the-best. As of now, the AAP is looking unsure, and it appears that they are more happy to sit in the opposition than to form the government. Although, it has not even been 72 hours after the results, but the message from the AAP is – we are sure, that we will be the best opposition, but can we form the best government, urm, we are not sure?




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