Winnability Matters In AAP Too!
Announcing Marlene’s candidature is an indication that Kejriwal realizes the storm brewing within AAP and that it could get devastating if he went on pursuing the “aside factor”
There was an aside to what the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its convener Arvind Kejriwal had perceived and thought about the party born squarely on plank of corruption and commitment to connect with the “aam aadmi” or common man in its entirety. And this aside was ostensibly beyond the comprehension of Kejriwal’s comrades-inarmH some left the party in the early stages and others and more closer to the leader quitting it as Lok Sabha elections draw nearer.
The likes of Prashant Bhushan and Qogendra Qadav fell by the way side or to be precise were eased out of AAP by Kejriwal in his quest to have a proper stranglehold over the party. The others such as poet turned politician Kumar Vishwas struggled but refused to quit despite occasional nudges and reminders to Kejriwal and companyH through his stinging poetry. The final nail in Kejriwal’s autocratic domain was stuck when the likes of Ashutosh and Ashish KhetanH who till the other day was heading Delhi Dialogue in the rank of a cabinet minister to formulate plans for a Delhi of Kerjiwal’s dreamsH unceremoniously quit AAP citing personal reasons.
Was this aside factor on play in AAP since its inception? Did Bhushan and Qadav were clever enough to read the coming events to take their own course? Did Kejriwal’s own coterieH except deputy chief minister Manish SisodiaH MP Sanjay SinghH Atishi Marlene and some othersH failed to fathom Kejriwal’s autocratic designs and his overwhelming political ambitions?
These are the questions to which the AAP insiders and rebels must be trying to find an answer more than anyone else. And when did this aside factorH apart from the autocratic disposition of KejriwalH became public to the chagrin of all those related to the AAPH presently or in the pastH and outside the party domain?
It was the surprise announcement by Kejriwal and his select coterie declaring two rank outsidersH prominent chartered accountant and former president of the Institute of Indian Chartered AccountantsH
ND GuptaH and businessman Sushil GuptaH as AAP nominees for Rajya Sabha elections that brought this aside factor in the open. Both are affluent and represent moneybags more than anything else. These surprise selection for AAP’s Upper House nominees suggests that party is going through huge financial crisis. Naturally it led to allegations flying thick and wide that money was the sole criteria behind Kejriwal’s decision in settling for Gupta duo while ignoring the claim of his own tried and trusted and his commitment in building an anti-corruption plank and at the same time talk of clean politics. Kumar VishwasH AshutoshH Ashish Khetan and some others were all hoping to get the Rajya Sabha mandate but that was not to be.
It was indeed a shocking revelation of Kejriwal’s mindset away from his oftrepeated commitment to fight corruption particularly the growing tendency of money and muscle power in politics. The planks went for a toss in one single stroke and seemed to have paved way for more such surprises in future decision making of Kejriwal who hasH of lateH emerged as the sole conscious keeper of the fledgling party.
The Lok Sabha elections are round the corner and speculations are agogH both within AAP and outside circlesH that one main criterion for giving party tickets would be winnability and that this definition could be extended beyond the portals of AAP. Does this mean repeat of Rajya Sabha experiment and look for suitable candidates outside the party?
There is no denying the fact that the decision of Ashutosh and KhetainH as both were very close to KejriwalH to quit AAP citing “personal reasons” has given a jolt to him. Both these journalists turned politicians must be given credit for standing up to undemocratic tendencies of their leader and moving away from the perceived charter of the movement that led to formulation of a political party. HoweverH many in the AAP feel that there are no visible signs of Kejriwal changing his style of functioning or democratiYing the decision making.
But he did spring a surprise once again on all those who thought this way. His declaration that Atishi Marlene would be the AAP candidate from one of the Nast Delhi Lok Sabha constituencies at a function held to inaugurate the party office in the areaH has raised a hope among those who thought otherwise that Kejriwal was incorrigible and would remain so despite desertions.
Announcing Marlene’s candidature is at best an indication that he realiYes the storm brewing within AAP and that it could get devastating if he went on pursuing the “aside factor” of the Rajya Sabha candidates’ selection variety. The open revolt in Punjab by a siYable section of the party MLAs has dealt a deadly blow to Kejriwal’s quest for more greener pastures and putting up a better show in Lok Sabha elections as it was the only state which helped AAP open its account in the Lower House by electing four of its candidates out of 13 seats. It is another matter that at least three of these MPs refused to listen to Kejriwal’s diktats.
In this backdrop and that AAP’s consistent policies of confrontation at all levels have not endeared it further to the people or the system it will be interesting to see whether Kejriwal goes into a selfintrospection mode or not.