Bridging the AAP Rift

The story of AAP and its convener Arvind Kejriwal is nothing short of a potboiler. It has been an eventful journey since its incipience and it is continuing hence. The most recent happenings in the Delhi circuit are nothing short of a climax to the picture and have rightfully hooked its audience.  If there is anything that the Delhi Drama has done to the Aam Aadmi in Delhi is made them aware and responsible towards the functioning of its democracy. True to the essence of a soul and heart wrenching Bollywood movie. People are not only involved but demand deliverance to the promises made during campaigning. However, the turn of events has left them disappointed and disgruntled.

The fledgling party has been under immense pressure of expectations. The leaders rose from a movement against corruption to enter into the dirty Indian politics and uproot the evil. The India Against Corruption drew huge crowd and support from Indians spread across different ages, religion, society, culture and traditions.  When senior leaders of this movement chose to diverge from their mentors to form their own political party, it brought immense support from the youth. The grass-root politics, mohalla sabhas, people driven manifesto and promise to usher in new age democracy catered well to the Indian middle class. The AAP was hence bestowed with wide support in its first election in Delhi and came forward to take into its hands the uphill task of forming its own government. Nothing could stop the party even if that meant bending on its own ethics and joining hands with the very party they had been brandishing in their entire election campaigning.

However, the people were dejected and devastated when their very own political formation became a part of the crowd. The AAP fell as quickly as it rose to power. The 49 days stint in power came as an eye opener for the leaders. They came face to face with real democracy and government functioning. The realization that forming a party and its functioning is as far from agitation driven politics as is the North Pole from the south. Sadly, this agitation and dharna driven politics was deeply ingrained in all constituents of the political formation. Surprisingly, the party collected itself from the reins. The one and half year gave it ample time to reflect on its shortcomings and work on its strengths. Harnessing the great support of the common man again, it created history when it decimated the ruling BJP and Congress in the Delhi Assembly elections.

It’s like life is coming to a full circle. Barely 40 days into power, is trouble brewing in the two year old party again? The answer is a sad but long Yes. This time however, it is its own leaders who are wrecking the party from within. The story started with coming to light the letters of dissent by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan to Delhi CM. Further events followed like dominoes. The claims and counter claims, allegations and mudslinging within the party are hurting the image of the party. All the while its leader was recuperating from chronic throat disease and ailments at a naturopathy session in Bangalore.

It is nothing unusual to witness dissents among party members. It has been the cause of rise and fall of political parties since time immemorial. Most recently, the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has left on an untimely vacation with rumors of differences with the other generation in his own party. The BJP has been drawing criticism time and again. This time it draws the flak for bringing in an inexperienced, non-political person to lead the Delhi elections. Trusting an outsider and neglecting all the workers who contributed their days and nights into forming a strong constituency was fatal. All other political parties across India are engrossed in their own dirt, be it the TMC in West Bengal or the RJD, JDU in Bihar.

Senior leaders of AAP Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan came forth with differences on the grounds of reluctance of the Delhi Party to move beyond its corridors and expand across the country, dwindling involvement of party volunteers, non-transparency in party functioning and delinquency in formation of Lok Yuktas at state and district level. They accused the common man driven party of being individual centric and eventually becoming another one-man driven race. While the leaders are true to some extent, they cannot deny the fact that the popularity enjoyed by Arvind Kejriwal is unparalleled. The reinvigorated political party may not have garnered the 67 seats it did, had they focused on the BJP vs AAP instead of Kejriwal vs Bedi battle. And this has been true for almost all major political parties in India. The political class draws its support through its leaders associating with the masses. The rise of Mamta Baneerjee, Sonia, Rahul Gandhi and most recently Narendra Modi are a testimony to this fact.

Instead, the fact that these senior AAP leaders stuck to the same leader when they had a chance of coming to power and turned their backs as soon as they tasted success tells a totally different story. Any sagacious man would call it the voice of arrogance and greed. That the leaders choose to not resolve this issue within the confines of its offices and rather came out with letters speaks volumes of their hunger for power. The craving was just too irresistible for them.

The problem is not with issues and dissent erupting in a political party. The problem is with its leaders washing their dirty linen in public. The fact that everybody in the party consider themselves empowered to speak up is a testament to the seriousness and significance party gives to the opinions. It came to power on issue driven politics and should continue to tread on that path. Protecting the contemporary, present day politics from getting lost in its war of words is now on its leaders. The onus is on the top honcho to prevent another collapse before it stands on its own ground. Once lost, it is bound to have a harrowing time regaining confidence of the public for the second time. We are looking forward to an honest and credible government and it is the responsible of the ruling party to stand by its words. To be following the trail of all other parties and cease to maintain that one niche skill would be catastrophic. It might not be too long before the cliché come true, In the end, they are all the same.

-Monica Dua

Its NOW or NEVER!!

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