State party leader says AAP’s de­ci­sion to re­sign in Delhi led people move away

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - KR­ISHNA KU­MAR

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.

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