Has AAP become politically untouchable?

Kejriwal AAP alliance
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‘Larger than life’ Delhi CM and the national convener of AAP Arvind Kejriwal announced that his party will not join proposed grand alliance against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He said the parties who are joining the grand alliance have had no role in the development of the country. However, real reason is not hidden from anyone. No one is willing to make Arvind Kejriwal part of any alliance because he is not a reliable person and in political circle no one considers him worthy- electorally or mentally. He was squarely rejected by the opposition parties. It is clearly evident from the laments of AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh who before the crucial election for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, tweeted, “It is not possible to support the candidate of JD (U), which is in alliance with BJP at the centre.” The AAP leader further added that since Congress doesn’t want a vote for its candidate, there is no other option left with AAP but to abstain from voting. 

Before the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election, AAP had said that it may not vote for opposition nominee BK Hariprasad, unless Rahul Gandhi asks Arvind Kejriwal for support. “If Rahul Gandhi can hug Narendra Modi, why cannot he ask Arvind Kejriwal for support to his party’s candidate”,  Singh said.

There are many reasons behind the rejection of AAP by the Opposition parties:

First, AAP is increasingly becoming irrelevant both in Punjab and Delhi. The façade of honesty that Kejriwal created around himself is over, his party is hardly going to win any seat in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and there are very strong reasons to believe this. After making a successful debut in 2014 Lok Sabha election in Punjab, now, AAP is on the verge of extinction in the state. In the recent Shahkot Punjab by-poll, AAP lost its deposits. AAP had gotten only 1900 votes, just 632 votes more than NOTA. In Shahkot constituency, in 2017 AAP had secured 41,000 votes about thousand less than Congress which had secured 42,008. In 2017, in the Gurdaspur parliament by-election also AAP suffered a similar fate and lost the deposit. It secured only 25,000 votes whereas in 2014 Lok Sabha elections it had received 1.77 Lakh votes. 

After its puffery of winning 100 seats in the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections, AAP continued its horrible performance in Punjab Municipal elections also. Overall, performance in Punjab was all about slandering, allegations and noise rather than about vision, agenda, development and substance. And the reason behind its debacle in Punjab is one and only- Arvind Kejriwal.

After the Shahkot defeat, one AAP volunteer said, “Rest of the damage was done by the party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia, which led to huge disappointment among party volunteers.” His apology to Bikram Singh Majithiacaused rebellion in the party ranks. Entire campaign of AAP in Punjab was based on anti-Akali narrative and drug issue. AAP leader called his apology a blunder, surrender and betrayal to the people of Punjab. The party’s state unit is in shambles, with the entire unit almost in rebellion mode. Arvind Kejriwal seems to be the biggest enemy of his own party. Animosity between Punjab AAP unit and the Central unit is only rising. Senior leaders of the party are leaving the party and joining the other parties or forming their own party. Hans Raj Rana from Adampur and H S Walia from Jalandhar Cantt left and joined Shrimoni Akali Dal (SAD). Senior leaders leaving AAP is another huge blow for a party which has been in decline ever since its big victory in Delhi. Entire state unit is marred with heavy infighting.

Second, in Delhi where AAP came to power with thumping majority, its popularity is declining. In Delhi, AAP has done its all work in the newspaper advertisements. When water wars were causing havoc in Delhi’s colonies, Delhi CM was busy with his high-profile AC dharna at Lieutenant Governor’s house for media attention. AAP also knows that its popularity is declining in Delhi that’s why they were desperate to form pre-poll alliance with the Congress in Delhi ahead of 2019 general elections. There were reports that the AAP offered three of the seven Lok Sabha seats to the Congress party for the upcoming 2019 General elections. Recently, Arvind Kejriwal praised former PM Manmohan Singh, he said, “People missing an ‘educated prime minister’ like Manmohan Singh”. But then the offer seems to have not gone well with the Delhi Congress, whose chief Ajay Maken declined it by saying, “When the people of Delhi are continuously rejecting the Kejriwal government, why should we come to their rescue”.

Third, Youth’s romance with Kejriwal is over hence AAP cannot realistically play the role of spoil-sport either. As the saying goes, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Fourth, Kejriwal is not the person on whom anyone can trust. He can do anything for the power. He kicked out his friends from the party just for the sake of power. Time and again Kejriwal has proved to be too mercurial and changes decision based on whims and fancies.

And lastly, Kejriwal is loose cannon, with absolutely no control on his rhetoric. He is not the type of person on who whom alliance partners can trust in tough times.

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Shubham Singh

21, (BA) Political Science Hons, PG Diploma in RTV, Learner.

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