Some analysts are unsure if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) can replicate its Delhi electoral feat in UP. Allahabad-based researcher-analyst Badri Narayan Tiwari said the AAP was unlikely to cause any upset in major constituencies.
“Without a proper structure, the party could end up with a voting percentage comparable to that of fringe parties like the Quami Ekta Dal,” he said.
Mr. Tiwari felt that the AAP could dent the urban, middle class and youth votes of the Congress and the BJP but did not foresee its making any impact on State parties such as the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
The BJP and the Congress were also dismissive of the AAP’s prospects. While BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai said the fledgling party would have “no impact whatsoever,” Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi said the AAP’s development agenda would make “no difference” in Amethi and Rae Bareli.
“Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are established leaders from these constituencies. The AAP has chosen to attack these seats merely to gain popularity,” he said.
The AAP, meanwhile, held a Jan Sabha in Allahabad on Tuesday and pledged support to the students’ movement against ‘corruption’ in the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission. The AAP and the BJP are offering support to the largely apolitical students’ movement with party workers attending demonstrations.
In an incident on Monday, a scuffle broke out between workers of the AAP and the Congress on the Ramlila ground in Amethi during a public debate organized by a TV channel. AAP workers, who were outnumbered, alleged that they were manhandled and chased away from the place.
AAP worker Manish Dwivedi, who was allegedly beaten up, said “250-300 Congress workers were there when we reached the spot. They were trying to force us to remove our caps and when we resisted, they lashed out at us.” Amethi station officer O.P Singh said the incident was a minor one and the AAP had not lodged any complaint.