Most of my friends ask me as to why do I support AAP? They say that AAP can never form government at the center, so I shouldn’t waste my vote. There is a fundamental flaw in their argument. Only vote that is wasted is the vote not cast. I am not gainsaying that chances of AAP getting a majority on its own is bleak. Neither am I disparaging the fact that AAP is likely to refrain from any post-poll alliance. But does that mean that I should align to majoritarian block. This in itself defeats the purpose of elections and of democracy.
In Aam Aadmi Party leaders, I see individuals without any bandwagon just like you and me. Let’s take the example of Varanasi, the most hyped constituency this election season. I have seen Arvind Kejriwal staying in the house of his supporters. I have seen him interacting with the voters individually. Trying to reach out to the people and not just to gather crowd to demonstrate his strength. On the contrary, his opponent from BJP, Mr Modi, flies down to the venue, makes some populist remarks and then vanishes. I surely understand that as Prime Ministerial candidate he has to be everywhere all the time. But even in the scant visits that he paid to Varanasi or anywhere in India, I didn’t see him connecting with the people or trying to reach out to them. Wrapped with swarms of sycophants from his own cadre, he is already inaccessible to the public. I would not talk about Modi anymore. With all that has already been written and said, he needs no further attention. For a change, let’s put AAP under spotlight.
This party had its topsy-turvy. Arvind Kejriwal‘s resignation as Delhi CM even before slamming a half century has raised many eyebrows. That decision was made in undue haste without consulting the public, who voted him to power. So they too commit mistakes as other political parties. But what sets them apart is their honesty and humility to accept their follies.
Yesterday I stumbled upon a footage of one of the Nukkad Sabha of Arvind Kejriwal at Varanasi. He was talking about the collusion of present government and prospective government with corporate giants like Adani and Ambani. I have heard him say this in all his speeches and multiple times in every speech. I can conveniently say that he has accused Adani and Ambani as many times as the number of stars in the sky (if not more). Yes, he goes overboard at times. But I respect the audacity of this party in general and this man in particular. In one stroke he has alienated all the corporate houses and hence sacrificing big pockets. This is a well-known fact that most political parties bank on these perennial source of donations to fund political expenditure.
This leads me to my next point. AAP has been the pioneer of crowd-funding. Though this party is new, it has taught veterans few tricks. They are too transparent, both in finances and internal affairs, to be a political party. Every penny that you pay is accounted for and enlisted on their official website. It’s time when other parties shed their dark pockets and embrace similar transparency.
The party defies the custom of divide and rule and endorses an inclusive politics. Corruption and inflation affects all irrespective of caste and creed. They redefine secularism and set high standards for their counterparts. Shazia Ilmi was recently caught on camera making a statement that was not so secular. But the party was quick to take a stand and categorically specify that it differed. On the other hand, other parties including BJP remained silent when controversial speeches were made by their leaders.
Media has not been very kind to AAP. I don’t believe this just because the party has been accusing every other media house of being biased. I have enough evidence. I have seen the surge of humanity at AAP rallies in Punjab and Haryana and I have seen how conveniently media chose to turn a blind eye. But this party had its work around. It has used social media optimally to mobilize masses and engage with its followers.
Last but not the least, the list of candidates fielded by AAP is nonpareil. It is a conglomeration of actors, RTI activists, IITians, doctors, engineers, social activists etc. For the first time any political party has looked for qualifications and credentials to decide the candidature. It is expected to have a snow-ball effect. They might not win many seats. Even if they don’t win any seat, they have set the stage for cleaner and inclusive politics in days to come. Amethi has been the forte of Gandhi family for last 15 years and it’s for the first time that BJP has decided to nominate strong contender from Amethi. This in itself speaks volumes about the impact that AAP had in its short stay here in political arena.
Its NOW or NEVER!!