Aam Aadmi Party: Six years and distintegrating

AAP has ended up being exactly what they promised they won't be, sometimes even surpassing the existing political parties in setting a lower bar. 

As Aam Aadmi Party completes six years of existence today, the party which came to power on the non-corruption plank has morphed into its own parody. A party which started off on the plank of anti-corruption initially saw the most dynamic citizens associate themselves with the lofty ideals espoused by it, but soon, the charm withered.

Aam Aadmi Party is now associated with unending theatrics and a lust for power that it fails to get beyond Delhi. The feeling that anti-corruption was only a ploy to get power grew and peaked when AAP allied with Congress, the very party whose leaders, Kejriwal said, should be jailed for corruption. With no underlying ideology except deceit and drama, the party has started to disintegrate only six years into its existence.

While AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal kicked out founding members like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, few other staunch supporters like Ashutosh and Ashish Khetan too quit the political outfit.

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While rumours were rife that the duo quit the outfit because they were denied the Rajya Sabha tickets, Khetan clarified his stand on Twitter. He said that he wanted to go back to his legal practice and not stay involved in active politics.

AAP senior leader Kumar Vishwas, too, has let his displeasure known, quite publicly. AAP rebel leader Kapil Mishra has turned into a very vocal critic and quite a pain for the Aam Aadmi Party by taking on the CM.

AAP Punjab unit is also going through a crisis of its own after their Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly was removed from the post leading to a sense of discontent growing within the party. In September, AAP dissolved its overseas outfits with immediate effect, much to the dismay of Punjabi NRI supporters who felt that dissent was muzzled in the party. They had accused that the party wants to keep only ‘yes-men’ around who owe allegiance to Bhagwant Mann, comedian turned politician from Sangrur and Delhi.

The party has also been losing out on its very vocal supporters. In 2014, Gul Panag, had fought on AAP ticket from Chandigarh. However, in February this year, she had revealed AAP’s dangerous pandering to Khalistanis. She had said how AAP had allegedly courted Khalistanis, despite her warnings. Recently, former BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan joined Aam Aadmi Party and it is believed he is one of the frontrunners for the Chandigarh seat for the upcoming general elections.

AAP leaders’ disappointment with the party is not the only thing that is troubling AAP. Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal has created an army of crass zombies who think they’re being disruptive in the Indian political landscape when they’re actually just being a nuisance. AAP supporters, as well as leaders, have been caught making insensitive remarks on various leaders including Delhi LG Anil Baijal, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The insensitivity at display is alarming. While AAP leader Alka Lamba has displayed lack of remorse after stalling rescue operations during a fire at Chandni Chowk, Delhi, by laughing about it on Twitter, Arvind Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita Kejriwal had given a veiled threat to the Delhi LG Anil Baijal on Twitter. After her nephew Vinay Bansal was arrested in the PWD scam, Sunita Kejriwal had hit out on Baijal and asked him to stop ‘harassing’ her widow sister ‘besides the constant harassment of AAP government’ as the former Delhi LG Najeeb Jung is ‘suffering from severe illness and he regretted what he did with AAP government’. She had said that karma never leaves the karta.

Within six years of its formation as a political outfit from a bunch of activists, the party appears to have failed to evolve as a responsible political party. That they are no longer activists, and actually answerable to people who elect them and that not everyone who questions or asks them to be accountable are trolls. That people are perhaps questioning them more because as compared to the other political parties in India, AAP came with a promise, a promise of change. That they are going to fight corruption, that they will not play by the rulebook which involved division on caste and religious lines. But they did.

AAP has ended up being exactly what they promised they won’t be, sometimes even surpassing the existing political parties in setting a lower bar.


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