The Aam Aadmi Party was formed on the 2nd of October last year. In the thirteen months of its existence, social activist Arvind Kejriwal’s Party has changed the political scene of Delhi, if not of all of India, and rattled the base of the two largest parties of the country. The USP of the party lies in its mass appeal and support, though without too much of a basis. The Aam Aadmi Party has refrained from targeting any particular community, and has target specific areas instead. With activists like Kumar Vishwas, Manish Sisodia and veteran psephologist Yogendra Yadav in their ranks, AAP has transformed into an unusual combination of youth and experience.
The main reason for the party’s mass appeal is its ideology and practice. The Aam Aadmi Party has, in a very short period of time, defined a new style of politics, one that is straightforward, short and undiplomatic. Arvind Kejriwal has shown in his numerous interviews the power of a straight answer to a straight question, exemplified by his ten answers to journalist Sagarika Ghose on Twitter on October 31.
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) October 31, 2013
The Aam Aadmi party has shown confidence in the educated Indian youth as well as veteran social activists. Activists such as Shazia Ilmi were relatively well-known earlier too, but many other candidates named by AAP have worked extensively for the social development of their respective area. The variety of candidates fielded by AAP include from a software engineer to an idol-maker and from a lawyer to an auto driver. The Aam Aadmi Party has believed in supporting only such candidates which have a clean history and are not tainted by any charge. They even went so far as to say that if any one of their candidates was proved guilty in a case, he would be suspended and a police enquiry done against him. It is this very feature of AAP’s ideology that has appealed not only to the public, but to other parties too.
This is where the Aam Aadmi Party has made a difference. It has ensured that even if they don’t win the election, the quality of governance in Delhi will thence be much better than earlier. This is due to the fact that three other parties-namely the Congress, BJP and BSP- too have refused to field and support any tainted candidates, clearly taking quite a few pages out of the AAP book. Of course, the parties have been ignoring it as pure coincidence and common sense, but the real fact is that this is the AAP effect.
Anyway, isn’t it peculiar and refreshing to hear from the Congress and BJP about not fielding criminal candidates, especially after they were caught red-handed supporting a bill that defended convicted netas (read “This bill is complete nonsense. It should be torn up and thrown out”. Remember?)! These parties have made a dramatic and major ideological U-turn, one that is certainly in favour of the entity that is India. The AAP is completely responsible for this, and this political competition will certainly have Delhi turn a new direction, whether or not AAP comes to power. The Aam Aadmi Party has won the first battle in these elections, and do expect a few more U-turn, for they are surely in the reckoning these elections!
By Vishesh Kashyap