“Ab kisper bharosa kiye jaya? Jab yeh log paisa le sakte hain to dusron ka kya? (Who should I trust now? If people from the Aam Aadmi Party can take money how can I question others,” this was how a Delhi voter responded to the sting operation against the AAP.
Gyanendra Singh, a software professional who attended the AAP rally at Jantar Mantar on Saturday, believes the sting CD may give undecided voters another chance to say ‘look how the ambassadors of transparency behave’.
But irrespective of the veracity of the sting operation and the tapes, the party’s core support base is unshaken ahead of the crucial days of the Delhi Assembly elections.
“I still will vote for the AAP not because it is incorruptible but because so far it is the only party which has the system for checks and balances to prevent corruption both inside and outside,” he said.
The party refused to withdraw the candidates shown in the sting saying the CD was “doctored”.
Except his tweet promising “stern action” against the candidates if they are found guilty, Arvind Kejriwal has kept himself away from the entire controversy surrounding the sting. He also did not show up at any of the press conferences organised by the party on the issue.
Asked about the response among the common man outside Delhi, Prithvi Reddy, convenor of the AAP Karnataka unit, said due to years of rot in the political system, the first response of people would be that of cynicism, but if they see the media reports about the sting operation, they will see that all the candidates concerned were against the idea of doing any “business” with what they were allegedly being offered.
“The sting operation will have, if any, a positive impact on the credibility of the party because people will be able to see through the attempts to discredit the AAP. They can clearly see how both the Congress and the BJP have ganged up against the AAP. They will also realise how there is a lot of resistance against the kind of politics the AAP espouses ,” argued Mr. Reddy.
Prof. Pradip Datta, a faculty of Political Science Department in Delhi University, said though the AAP subscribes to politics of principles the way in which it handled the entire episode seemed “far too hasty” and “not procedurally correct”.
The matter should have been sent to the committee of the party for a dispassionate and deep consideration in an accountable and transparent manner to keep the confidence of the people in tact, added Prof. Datta.