If the party wins over 30 seats, it will achieve another milestone

When the Aam Aadmi Party announced its latest list of candidates, bringing the total to over 400, it made electoral history. If it wins over 30 seats, the party will achieve another milestone, an analysis of electoral data shows.

The Hindu compared the AAP to other parties formed within the past 30 years which were entirely new — meaning their leaders had not contested on another party’s ticket before.

One condition for inclusion in the analysis was that they should have contested in at least 10 constituencies in the first Lok Sabha election since their formation.

This left six parties, apart from the AAP, in the comparison: the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), the Lok Satta Party (LSP) and the Praja Rajyam Party (PRAP).

No first-time party has ever contested as many seats in the Lok Sabha as the AAP will, the analysis found.

BSP bid

The BSP came closest in 1989, the first election it contested after being formed in 1984, putting up candidates in 245 constituencies in 18 States.

The party founded by Kanshi Ram, which grew out of the All-India Backward (SC/ST & OBC) and Minority Community Employees Federation, is the only one among the seven parties that contested in more than one State.

The DMDK, formed by actor Vijayakanth in 2005, contested all seats in Tamil Nadu in its first Lok Sabha election in 2009.

All other parties contested a big proportion of the Lok Sabha seats in their respective States.

As for results, the best performance of a newly formed party in its first Lok Sabha election in contemporary Indian politics was that of the TDP, which made a big bang entry into the Andhra Pradesh political scene in a spectacular fashion in 1982, sweeping to power in the State in 1983.

TDP record

Led by the charismatic film star N.T. Rama Rao on a platform of Telugu pride, the TDP won 30 of the 34 seats it contested in its first Lok Sabha election the next year, with a vote share of over 50 per cent in those 34 seats.

Formed out of a long student movement and political agitation, the AGP won seven seats in 1985 as Independents, and just one seat in 1991, the first year it contested as a registered party. The BSP won just three of the seats it contested in 1989.

Zero tally

The LSP, formed by a former civil servant, Jayprakash Narayan, and resembles the AAP in its politics, won no seats as did the now-defunct PRAP formed by actor Chiranjeevi.

Most opinion polls forecast five-10 seats for the AAP, while its spokesperson Nagender Sharma prefers not to pick a number, saying: “All that the AAP wants is for as many clean candidates as possible to win.”

The AAP’s spectacular result in Delhi in 2013 made it the third most successful debut of a party in a State election.

If it wins more than three seats in the Lok Sabha election, it will be the third most successful national debut as well, the analysis finds.

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