Why Are So Many AAP Lok Sabha Candidates Withdrawing?
Mudar Patherya, social activist and AAP candidate for the Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat has withdrawn from the fray citing medical reasons. Patherya had been at the forefront of civil society protest when Rizwanur Rahman was found dead following police harassment after he had wed Priyanka Todi, daughter of hosiery magnate Ashok Todi of the Lux brand in Kolkata. By that token, Patherya was a known face.
Before that Justice (Rtd) Fakhruddin, who was to fight against Sonia Gandhi in Rai Bareilly had withdrawn his candidature. In UP alone seven other candidates returned their tickets to contest. Prominent among them were Abhilasha Jatav from Jalaun, Iliyas Aazmi from Lakhimpur Khiri, Iqbal Mustafa from Faizabad, Ashrafi Lal from Shahjahanpur and Khalid Pervez from Moradabad.
Mukul Tripathi, who was to contest against Salman Khurshid from Farukhabad had withdrawn citing corruption in AAP. Earlier, the party had made much of Tripathi’s charges against Khurshid diverting funds from Zakir Hussain Trust, managed by Khurshid and his wife. Now, it has been left to explain to the people why Tripathi withdrew.
The party had to draft actress Gul Panag from Chandigrah after Savita Bhatti, wife of late comedian Jaspal Bhatti had withdrawn from the race citing resistance from local workers, left the party and floated her own party, comically called the Nota party.
These withdrawals, when coupled with the party’s own replacement of tainted and laggard candidates, point to a massive organizational failure. This has been the bane of the party. It is trying to spread its wings too far, too soon. With no organizational structure in most of the states (the West Bengal office of the party is just for name) and just a few curious youngsters joining in as workers, the party should have waited till 2019 to go all India.
Arvind Kejriwal had very shrewdly chosen the state of Delhi for his initial foray into politics. Delhi is a microcosm of India, with people of all states living and working there. It has in the past given a fair representation of the voting pattern in the whole of India. But those were for established all India parties, which AAP is not. It may have members from all over India, but that is due to online membership. It does not have an all India infrastructure. Most importantly, it does not have a chain of command.
Hence, it should have limited itself to Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and parts of UP, Rajasthan and Punjab apart from fielding candidates against high profile politicians this time. That would have given it the publicity it so desperately craves and would have made a point. But by seeming to be in a hurry, the party has garnered negative publicity. It has been reported that in MP alone, 40 percent of its candidates have criminal records and 30 percent are billionaires, the very things the party is fighting against.
It was to be a party of highly charged individuals ostensibly given to fighting corruption and bad governance. It was to be a party that promised to change the way India was governed. But in the end, it has become a party that cannot govern itself. It has admitted all kinds of people without proper screening. It was against giving prominence to individuals. Now, the party’s only canvasser is Arvind Kejriwal and he is being promoted to the hilt.
It railed that politicians had divided India into vote banks. Yet, when it came to the crunch, even Arvind Kejriwal indulged in such politics and made a trip to Bareilly before the Delhi elections to meet Maulan Tauqeer Raza Khan, the cleric who became famous for issuing a fatwa against Bangladeshi writer Tasleema Nasreen. It was ostensibly to pray at the dargah but in reality it was to get the sizeable Muslim community to back him in Delhi. Kejriwal even mouthed platitudes such as “communalism is a bigger threat than corruption.”
Its election manifesto is also pedestrian. A party aiming to rule India does not have a clear economic policy. It does not specify a foreign policy. The days of learning on the job are gone. If you cannot spell out how you are going to rule, the people are not going to take you seriously.
AAP spells anarchy in the way it goes about solving problems. The people have seen that they are capable of disturbing the status quo. They appreciated it for a while because it shook the pillars of a complacent democracy. It brought to fore certain things like big ticket corruption that were hidden. But the people also know that a country cannot be governed by anarchists. They gave AAP an opportunity to prove its worth by giving it a sizeable number of seats in Delhi. They even gave it a referendum to rule Delhi with allies. But the anarchist won and AAP left midway. That did not go down well with the people. The experiment failed.
It is due to these reasons combined with the fact that all decisions in the party are highly centralized and there is no federal structure that as of now, AAP is the party with the highest turnover rate. People join it lured by the romanticism of a corruption free India, but leave when they realize that only one man’s writ runs.
To be fair, it is a new party and cannot be expected to be as tightly organized as the older parties. But this should have been reason enough for it to refrain from spreading itself too thin. But the lure of publicity during a general election was too hard to resist. Perhaps, it thought that it could repeat the Delhi magic elsewhere. Sadly for the party, this is not going to happen.
My Comment :--
Several candidates who were given ticket for Lok Sabha on behalf of Aam Admi Party, AAP have left the field before election. It proves how Arvind Kejriwal and his party AAP have lost the confidence of common men in such a short span of time and people are no longer as strong supporter of AAP as they were a few months ago. AK and AAP will have to introspect to ascertain their faults in strategy and action which dispelled lovers of AAP.
This is also undoubtedly true that majority of AAP candidate will discard AAP after the result of election is declared in May 2014.
Not only candidates of AAP , even several senior members of old political parties including Congress Party , SP, BSP , JDU ,RJD will discard their parties to join either BJP or to other parties.