Days after the Aam Aadmi Party excluded the concerns of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community on gender and sexuality from its national manifesto, it has turned out that though an influential section of AAP wanted to incorporate the issues, the party, however, got last minute cold feet as it did not want to alienate the conservative votes in the country by its own admission.
According to LGBT members inside the party who were part of discussion with the LGBT community as well, the party decided to not mention the issues for “strategic perspective” to get the popular support and the numbers in Parliament.
The communication sent by a senior AAP leader who was part of the consultation process to the disappointed community groups explaining party stand said: “Arvind Kejriwal and all the top leaders have always said that personal liberty is of crucial importance to the vision of this party and we do not believe that State has any right to probe into private lives or sexual orientation of citizens if its consensual”.
AAP’s support to the LGBT issues “had given us hope that we would be in a position to stand by it officially. We are all saddened. In the final meet a decision was taken that it would not be mentioned but the stance would remain the same,” said the email.
“There is a larger strategic perspective with regard to the number here. We need numbers in the Parliament if we are to do some thing about it,” explained the mail sent in an attempt to assure and pacify the LGBT groups.
“It was an obvious cop out by their own admission. There were members who had fought for it but they essentially gave in to pressure and the need to pander to the conservative voters,” said Ms. Myna Mukherjee, the director of Engendered, an arts and human rights organization which works on issues of gender and sexuality.
Ms. Mukherjee who had hosted the consultation with the AAP said: “Mr. Kejriwal has repeatedly said that AAP is not in the business of getting power but then why are they talking about the need for numbers.”
Party does not
want to alienate conservative voters