2020 in review: The year that was

For AAP, 2020 was an eventful year

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The AAP had an eventful 2020 marked by a resounding assembly poll victory which was summed up as "memorable and motivating" by its party leader Sanjay Singh.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) started the year with a bang, storming back to power in Delhi by winning 62 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly. Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as Chief Minister for a third term in February.

Also read: AAP sweeps Delhi with 62 seats

Mr. Singh said the Delhi assembly victory was not just of the party but of “work-based politics” and now its aim in 2021 is to win polls in other States and replicate the Delhi model there.

"The Delhi election results were very encouraging and motivating. The win was a validation of our work and alternative brand of politics," Mr. Singh told PTI, talking about how the year 2020 went for the party.

The AAP started with a frenzied election campaign which included several townhall meetings of Mr. Kejriwal apart from election rallies.

Ahead of polls, Prashant Kishor-led political consultancy firm I-PAC came on board with the party and what ensued was the intense election campaign.

Mr. Kejriwal made it clear that the polls in Delhi will be fought on the basis of work and the party will not indulge in any mudslinging or dirty politics. Schemes such as free travel for women in DTC buses, free electricity, installation of CCTV cameras and free water were his party’s poll planks.

Addressing thousands at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan after taking oath for the third term as Chief Minister, the 51-year-old had said he wants to take everyone forward with him.

He also stressed that he wants to work in coordination with the Centre and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi''s blessings for smooth governance of the national capital.

Soon after Mr. Kejriwal assumed office, the coronavirus pandemic outbreak posed the first and probably the biggest challenge faced not just by the Delhi government but also by the party.

Mr. Kejriwal urged his party workers to go to every village, street and neighbourhood across the country to help people in their battle against COVID-19. He started a campaign under which he asked party workers to check the oxygen level of people with oximeter.

Also read: Decided to reduce COVID ICU beds reservation in 33 private hospitals to 60%: AAP govt to Delhi HC

Meanwhile, the party started its work towards expanding other states, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where it said it would be contesting the State Assembly polls.

Speaking about the party’s vision for 2021, Mr. Singh said the AAP will be working towards increasing its reach in these States.

"Our dream for 2021 is to replicate the Delhi model in these States. Education, health, CCTVs, water, women safety, free bus ride for women — whatever we did in Delhi we now want to do in these States,” he added.

Mr. Singh said the biggest challenge they are expecting to face in these States is how to raise people’s issues in front of the “dictatorship governments”.

“Biggest challenges would be to tackle the revenge-minded political parties which target you, file cases against you. Like when you raise basic issues, then you are targeted and you need to be prepared to tackle the government’s unfair crackdown on you and that is the challenge we would need to be ready to face. So the biggest challenge is to raise people’s issues in front of these dictatorship governments,” Mr. Singh claimed.

The AAP also came out strongly in support of protesting farmers who have been opposing the new agri laws.

Terming these legislations anti-farmer and anti-common man and just made to favour a few capitalists, Mr. Kejriwal opposed them and also went to meet the protesting farmers at the Singhu border, saying he was there to serve as ''sewadaar''.

The AAP also alleged that the Delhi Police put Mr. Kejriwal under house arrest after he met the protesting farmers, following which a huge drama ensued outside the Chief Minister’s residence.

Also read: One entry to Kejriwal’s house closed, restrictions still on: AAP

The party’s fights with the Delhi Police continued throughout the year as it alleged that the latter was acting on the direction of the Centre.

Towards the fag end of 2020, the AAP claimed to have unearthed a ₹2500-crore scam of the BJP-ruled municipal corporations which Mr. Kejriwal called was bigger than the Commonwealth Games scam and demanded CBI probe into the matter.

Despite being marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 turned out to be good for AAP where it not only secured another term in office but also mulled ways to expand to other States.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 7:08:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/for-aap-2020-was-an-eventful-year/article33454295.ece

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