5 years of aap’s Alternative politics:Myth or reality

Posted by Murari Singh
December 21, 2017

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More than five years ago Aam admi party(AAP) was was formed on 26th November,2012 with much fanfare as an alternative  to established political parties to herald an era of transparency and swaraj in politics of India.Its genesis was different compared to formation of other political parties are concerned.It was culmination of Anti-corruption movement started by Anna hazare back in 2011 on the issue of establishing Lokpal at central level and lokayukta at state levels.Later on Arvind kejriwal along with Manish sisodiya and Gopal rai undertook hunger strike to protest delay in formation of Lokpal and alleging charges against 15 ministers of then Congress led UPA government.As the movement was going nowhere and government was not ready to accept demands, need for political alternative was felt.Arvind kejriwal emerged as leader and under his leadership AAP was formed on 26th november,2012.Although Anna hazare was against party politics and opposed this move and parted his way.26th november is very significant day in Indian political history, as on this day Indian constitution was adopted way back in 1949.so, this date was chosen to show that we will uphold constitutional values in true sense and try to establish real democracy through swaraj where people will have their say in party functioning,transparency and accountability. so, we can say that three mantras of swaraj, transparency and accountability were guidelines that was going to change established  pattern of party functioning and be an alternative.

First electoral plunge it  undertook in Delhi assembly elections of 2o13. As Delhi was epicenter of Anna movement and already  thousands of people around delhi were associated with it, so It was considered apt to test new kind of politics here before replicating it at all india level and other states of country.As expected media and other political political parties completely rejected its chances to give a fight. But results of delhi elections surprised everybody. AAP won 27 seats and emerged as second largest party after BJP.No party was having majority and congress won 8 seats.Congress offered unconditional support to AAP. Initially AAP was hesitant to form government but after gauging public public opinion It formed government. Arvind kejriwal became chief minister of delhi and one year old party came to power in just its first election. Although during its campaigning It had categorically denied forming any alliance with either congress or BJP and instead will opt for opposition space. It ruled delhi for less than 3 month and resigned on issue of janlokpal bill. Opposition parties criticized this action heavily and started saying that since promises made cant be fulfilled, so he is running away. people of Delhi  were quite angry angry also as they had huge expectations from him.They were accused of being irresponsible and insensitive to peoples interests.AAP  brushed aside all allegations and instead claimed that they sacrificed their government for janlokpal as opposition was opposed to it.

It fought general elections 2014 and fielded its candidates at more than any other party. But results of this election were huge setback for newly formed party.More than 90% of its candidates lost their deposits. It was able to win only 4 seats from Punjab. In the aftermath, allegations and counter-allegations started to fix resposibility of huge loss.Factions surfaced after Manish sisodiya wrote a public letter holding Yogendra yadav resposible for fighting 2014 election in first place.But somehow peace brokered between kejriwal and yogendra yadav. But AAP made a stunning comeback in 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. It won 67 seat out of 70 and stopped the winning march of BJP under leadership of Prime minister Narendra modi.

Just one month after delhi election results, AAP expelled its founding members like Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra yadav, Anand kumar and Ajit jha. They were accused of involved in anti party activities. But group led yogendra yadav criticized Arvind kejriwal on grounds of promoting sycophancy, lack of transparency, coterie culture,same accusations which arvind kejriwal used to level against other political parties. Since then AAP fought elections in Punjab, Goa and recently Gujarat but performance were below expectations. In punjab it could win only 20 seats but in Goa and Gujrat most of its candidates lost their deposits. In recently held delhi municipality elections, BJP became victorious with huge majority and AAP came distant second.

As far as performance of Delhi government is concerned, It has done good work in area of health, education etc. But on issues of principles like Transparency,Swaraj internal democracy, it has not fared well compared to other parties.Delhi government has still not been able to get Janlokpal constituted here.Even the bill passed by Delhi Assembly has been heavily criticized on grounds of weak lokpal, not independent mechanism  for its constitution. On, 26th november , AAP celebrated 5 Year of its formation .While addressing the function, He appealed to People of Gujrat that vote to defeat BJP, so indirectly he was advocating for congress as it was in direct fight with BJP. AAP central leadership including  Arvind kejriwal didn’t even campaign in Gujrat for  its 30 odd candidates.Kejriwal during 2011 used to advocate that dont vote for congress as it is most corrupt party and now he is working to defeat BJP. During his address, He didnt told people to vote for AAP. What type of alternative politics it is??. Yogendra yaday lamented  statement of kejriwal and said AAP has deviated completely from its envisaged path and working like just another party.

(Murari kumar singh is a Research scholar at CWAS JMI New Delhi, can be contactaed at 8587098854 and at murariavinash@gmail.com.)



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