AAP’s fate in the coming state elections

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

  • Srishti Ranjan, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

 

Since its inception, the Aam Aadmi Party has never been ‘Aam’ or in other words it has always been special, featuring in the news every now and then. After a fantastic win in the 2015 elections in Delhi, the party is now geared up to repeat history in Punjab and Goa elections. The party has been working on ground for several months and is likely to start their campaigns over the next few days. With Arvind Kejriwal as the face of the campaign, AAP volunteers are busy in increasing party’s visibility on social media as well on the ground.

With elections in Punjab and Goa only two weeks away, here is a brief look at what points might prove to be crucial to the party’s fate. The first point that works in their favor is the image of their party head, Arvind Kejriwal. From his participation in India Against Corruption Campaign to forming his own party and eventually becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi, people have always looked up to him with expectations. His media savvy attitude along with the constant pressure on his party by other major political parties has always ensured his presence in the limelight. Though leading just one state, the party is already making its rivals nervous.

The other point that may work hugely in favor of the party in states like Punjab or Goa is the example of its governance of Delhi. With major problems like corruption, mining issues in Goa or drug addiction in Punjab, the AAP example of Delhi does give hope to these states for situation improvement. The fact that out of three main parties contesting elections in Punjab, the bottom ten candidates with least declared assets are from AAP also strengthens the motto that the party is not aiming for high profile candidates but regular people for elections.

Apart from this the fact that AAP does not have a chief ministerial candidate in Punjab yet may prove to be a major negative for the party. The lack of a responsible face, the one that can lead the party to victory, especially when its rivals are projecting Amarinder Singh and Badals reflects the dilemma the party is going through. Further comments by party members to the public to vote as if Kejriwal will contest the elections adds to the fact that the party is unable to make up its mind. It is yet to be seen how much the party uses its leaders’ image as a leverage. Also with the numerous scandals that the party members get involved in almost daily, AAP’s credibility as a strong and stable party stands to lose. So, the party must be careful about its campaigns and related activities and project a credible leader to repeat its historic win.

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