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”

The Day After - - CONTENT - By Anil Anand

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.


Ashish Khetan

Ku­mar Vish­was

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