State party leader says AAP’s decision to resign in Delhi led people move away
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) unit in Maharashtra is still trying to make sense and possibly come to terms—with the Lok Sabha results. Consider this: Vijay Pandhare, a former irrigation department official who blew the lid on the ` 69,000-crore irrigation scam and was an AAP candidate from Nashik, has decided to relocate to Buldhana and said he won’t contest elections any more.
Pandhare’s decision flies in the face of assertions made by many AAP candidates who had said that they would continue their work irrespective of the poll outcome.
Pandhare acknowledged that the AAP government in Delhi which resigned within 49 days of coming to power, alienated many people, resulting in its dismal show. He also claimed that more than 98% of the people associated with the movement did it merely for publicity, and didn’t care much for change.
“There were only 50 committed workers with us, who worked hard. The rest came along just for publicity,” said Pandhare, a high-profile candidate who didn’t even manage 10,000 votes. In fact, nearly half the AAP candidates did not even get 10,000 votes.
Social activist Anna Hazare, speaking to re porters in Ralegaon Siddhi, also said that he had ‘anticipated’ the AAP rout and had told Arvind Kejriwal not to contest the Lok Sabha elections. “I had told Arvind, give a good government in Delhi for five years and then c o nt e s t t he p o l l s i n 2 0 1 9 . However, they were in a hurry.”
An AAP leader who did not contest the elections, said the whole thing was mismanaged and blamed a section of the leadership for being too ‘arrogant’.
“Some of these leaders think that just by being on TV and being quoted in newspapers make them big leaders; they took decisions on their own without consulting anyone and consequently suffered,” said the AAP leader, who didn’t wish to be identified.
He even gave examples of how two AAP candidates withdrew their names just two days after campaigning because they felt that they were not cut out for the Job. The party then had to put up different candidates for the post.
State secretary Preeti Sharma Menon, however, said the elections were a lear ning curve. “People empathized with us, they listened to us, but they voted for Modi because the way the BJP had packaged the whole thing,” said Menon.
“We didn’t expect to win the seats, but we were hoping for a 6% vote share, which didn’t happen. And that’s disappointing,” she added.