Delhi

AAP took its home turf for granted, say partymen

The Aam Aadmi Party, which failed to bag even a single seat in Delhi in the parliamentary elections after putting up a spectacular show in the Assembly elections last winter, is being blamed by its own workers of taking the home turf “for granted”.

Many AAP workers and leaders told The Hindu that several “faulty” strategies of the party took a toll on its prospects in the Capital.

“Modi wave”

Star campaigner Arvind Kejriwal could have contained the “Modi wave” had he not ignored campaigning here.

“There is a feeling among a section of party workers that Mr. Kejriwal ignored Delhi thinking it will vote for the AAP anyway. People were repeatedly asking ‘Where is Kejriwal?’,” said a party worker on the condition of anonymity.

“He campaigned in the Capital for just 10 days. The fact that Mr. Kejriwal resigned as Chief Minister and did not give any time to Delhi ended up creating the impression that he was taking the electorate of the city for granted. This led to an erosion in our support base and people bought the BJP’s propaganda against us,” added the AAP worker.

He accused the party leadership of becoming “very ambitious” and of being “cavalier” in overestimating people’s support and fielding candidates more than the main political parties.

While the BJP put up 415 candidates and the Congress 414, the AAP fielded 426 candidates. The party, however, defended its decision to go national saying it now had an organisational structure across the country.

Rebellious voices

Post-May 16 results, several rebellious murmurs have been heard in the party highlighting “absence of democracy” in its functioning.

One of its founding members Ilyas Azmi alleged that the AAP has been hijacked by the “troika” of Mr. Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh and Manish Sisodia, which takes all the decisions for the party.

According to him, the “sudden” resignation of the AAP government, “poor” selection of candidates and parachuting and forcing “outsider candidates” on the local party units are the main reasons behind the party’s poor shown in the polls.

Senior AAP leaders like Mr. Sisodia, Yogendra Yadav, Shazia Ilmi and Kumar Vishwas, after the poll debacle, admitted that the manner in which the AAP resigned from the Delhi Government left a very bad impression on people.

Mr. Sisodia said the AAP had failed to convince the people that it quit government on principle. “This time, it was a vote for [Narendra] Modi, not the BJP. During the 2013 elections, many of our supporters had said that they will vote for the AAP in the Assembly elections and the BJP during Lok Sabha polls,” he reasoned.

Ms. Azmi argued that the AAP’s resurgence in Delhi won’t be very easy, especially under the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 11:38:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/aap-took-its-home-turf-for-granted-say-partymen/article6026047.ece

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