The Aam Admi Party (AAP), which was founded on the pretext of fighting corruption, now finds itself on slippery terrain. Today, while it is fighting hard to retain its political identity, the party has landed a new challenge- the lack of faith of voters. Unable to convince his voters that he would not switch parties or be part of the BJP if elected, AAP candidate for Panaji bypoll Valmiki Naik, had to take another recourse.
Naik, on Monday, displayed his affidavit to the reporters where he has sworn to not join the BJP-led government or support the current ruling dispensation if elected to power.
“I, the undersigned, if elected as MLA with the blessings of the people of the Panaji constituency in the bypoll of May 19, swear I will not join BJP. I will not support a BJP-led government. I make these two promises on this notarized affidavit,” the affidavit read.
“During my election campaign for the Panaji bypoll, I noticed that people are anxious about the deplorable trend of elected MLAs across party lines joining the BJP. This is why I came up with the affidavit, with the promise that I will not join the BJP or be a part of their government in any way if I am elected as MLA,” Naik said.
The Panaji bypoll was necessitated due to the death of sitting MLA and former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. The BJP has fielded Sidharth Kuncalienkar, a top aide of Parrikar and former MLA from the seat.
Meanwhile, Naik urged rival candidates, Antanasio Monserrate of Congress and Subash Velingkar of Goa Suraksha Manch, also to swear on an affidavit that they would not switch sides if elected. He, however, claimed that they intend to be a part of the BJP post elections.
Naik added further that as an AAP candidate, the question was not just about becoming an MP or MLA but raising the political standard. He said the current standards have taken a beating due to increase in the spate of defections and rampant poaching of MLAs.
AAP is in disarray. The party, which was launched with great fervour and zeal five years ago, has lost its charm. AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is known to repeatedly take U-turns. Corruption charges against party leaders, the lack of performance in Delhi and failing peoples’ expectations has invited an unprecedented backlash for the party.
Recently, Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa, who was suspended from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2015, joined the BJP in New Delhi. Khalsa, the former IFS officer had called Kejriwal a ‘dictator’ and had accused him of acutely interfering in state affairs. Another suspended MP Dharamvir Gandhi, who was elected from Patiala, has started his own party the Nawan Punjab Party.
One of the MLAs had accused the party of arrogance, sexual exploitation of women and corruption. Several MLAs, including Sukhpal Khaira and HS Phoolka, have quit the party in recent months. A week after senior leader Ashutosh quit the party, another senior leader Ashish Khetan, followed suit. AAP Punjab was also widely criticized for its alleged association with Khalistani elements.
Kejriwal has been literally pleading with Congress to form an alliance in Delhi. Apparently, he is aware that he can not defeat the BJP alone in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Notably, BJP had won all the seven seats in Delhi during the 2014 elections.