Even though AAP has brought about a fresh wave of change in Indian politics, being a new party they still stand on testing grounds. An analysis on AAP’s decision to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

8th Dec 2013 was an extraordinary day in the Indian polity as the latest entrant AAP managed to crack a bunch of Delhi’s constituencies.  Arvind Kejriwal and his team members were lauded for not just coming out with a new paradigm, but also for its audacity to take on and defeat giants like Sheila Dixit. 

Aam Aadmi Party logo.svg 300x139 AAPs Decision to Contest 2014 Lok Sabha Elections

After securing Congress’ support on 3rd Jan 2014, AAP had the challenge to deliver on their tall promises related to electricity, water, corruption, slums etc. Looking at the past few days, the actions by AAP are rather worrying. Their promises seem to be completely undeliverable and they are going back on their promises. Take for instance the electricity tariff cuts; AAP has already indicated that they might not be able to reduce tariffs by 50%. They have not been able to take a concrete decision on the water system and the connections to slums. Their claims on corruption seem hollow as they have not been able to prove any allegation that AAP party made during their election rallies. Kejriwal won against Sheila Dixit largely on his claim that she is corrupt. He has however, not setup any commission of inquiry against Sheila yet. Even the latest decision to not host anymore Janata Durbars is a reflection of the poor organization skills of AAP. Even with so many pending deliverables, AAP took a hasty decision to contest several hundred seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Arvindkejriwal AAP 300x300 AAPs Decision to Contest 2014 Lok Sabha Elections
This is a quite worrying as people might just go ahead and vote for AAP without even realizing that they have to deliver something first in Delhi and then ask for national votes. AAP might just ride on this wave of anger and win 40 odd seats in Lok Sabha. An even bigger concern would be AAP’s support for Congress or BJP at the national level as AAP is not expected to clinch a majority on its own. The party seems to be having no ideology, and no concrete opinion on major national level issues like defense, economy, internal security, foreign policy to name a few. We have heard several of their spokespersons admitting that AAP has no clear view on these pressing issues, and that the party is still in the process of learning. This admission is laudable, but AAP must understand that national issues require lot more deliberation and analysis and are of much complexity that issues like water and electricity.

If people vote for AAP like they did in Delhi, and if AAP manages to win 40 odd seats in Lok Sabha, that would just increase the bargaining power of these small parties in coalition government that might come to power. The country is yearning for a change, and is certainly in favor of NDA over UPA as per the various media reports. What the country needs at the moment is a clear mandate for one of the major parties. Without going into the merits of either national party, it is fairly clear that either of them is necessary for a stable government at the Centre. AAP winning 50 seats might also give a chance to other parties like SP, BSP, Left parties, JDU etc who have been vocal about the third front. The third front would be an even bigger disaster as that would bring parties like SP, BSP, and TMC, who have not demonstrated any interest in national issues, but have used the central government alliance for their own profits. Moreover, each of these parties has their own ideology and achieving convergence on national issues is highly unlikely.

 

By going for national elections, AAP might be doing more disservice to the nation than doing any good. With less than 50 seats, they might be hardly influential in the governance process and delivery of services which has been the greatest failure of UPA II.It would be rather better if AAP focuses on Delhi and demonstrates that they are indeed different and significantly better than NDA or UPA parties. Once they deliver in the next 5 years, they can contest for national stage and demand a clear mandate at the Centre in 2019. These 5 years can be used by AAP to strengthen its organization at the grass root level. It would also give people a chance to review AAP as a party and make informed decisions. AAPs victory in Delhi state elections was mostly a reflection of the anger against the incumbent UPA II government and not so much a reflection of the public faith in AAP.  

 

The country desperately needs a strong, decisive government at the Centre, and not anarchy at any cost. Change is always welcomed, but not at the cost of stability. I would urge AAP to reconsider its plan to contest in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and rather spend its energy to convince people to just go out and vote. Even increasing the voting percentage would be an excellent service to the nation.

By Yogesh Shidhaye

Also See:
Who Will Fare Well at the 2014 Polls?
You Speak–The Future Of AAP
An Open Letter: Reservation for Students of Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal and Socialisation of Politics

Image Source: By Aam Aadmi PartyFOX 52 SVG derivative (Official website) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, By TY (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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