Sirf aur Sirf AAP ki Dilli :)

Wave. Tsunami. Juggernaut. These are the kind of words that political pundits and journalists have been associating with the duo of Modi and Amit Shah for the last many months. Today, with 54% vote share and 95% seats, a certain Arvind Kejriwal has put a halt to this wave, tsunami or juggernaut. As I write this piece, the analysis of this election is going on and Rajdeep Sardesai is still hellbent on proving that there is a class divide in Delhi. Rahul Kanwal will keep reminding his viewers of the ‘Dharna’ politics. Chetan Bhagat, after cheering for Modi for so many months, is now saying that this is a vote against Modi. All of this will keep going on for a few days but the fact of the matter is that 67/70 has been summed up best by Kiran Bedi – “Full Marks”.

ReturnOfMufflerMan

I started following politics around 4 years ago with the Anna movement. When the Aam Aadmi Party was officially launched on November 26, 2012, I had no doubt about where my political preference lay. But briefly in 2013, after a speech by Narendra Modi at SRCC, I was one of those who believed in “Arvind for CM, Modi for PM”, but I soon realized that beyond the brilliant speeches was the same old BJP and it would be difficult for Modi to deliver on any of his promises with the team he has. The choice was between “Congress Mukt Bharat” and “Corruption Mukt Bharat”. I preferred the latter.

It has been a long journey for all AAP supporters, donors and especially the ground volunteers. In the 2013 elections, an underestimation in the opinion polls and some fake stings stopped us from becoming the single largest party and winning Delhi. On that day there was a lot of joy and all the AAP loyalists could go and tell their friends, “Told you so.” In the 2014 elections, there was disappointment all around in the AAP camp but it gave us a second state and also consolidated our vote share in Delhi. And now 2015 goes beyond all the expectations. There is relief. There is fear. There is happiness. And then there are those tears of joy.

AKHug

Aam Aadmi Party is like a startup. Perhaps one of the most difficult startups possible as Indian politics is not an easy place to grow in. Yet this startup has completely shaken up Indian politics in the last 2 years and the only reason for this success is the AAP volunteer. They have left their jobs. They have left their dreams of IAS/IFS. They have made many sacrifices and put in hours and hours on the ground to campaign. A positive campaign backed by the Delhi Dialogues and a strong 70 point manifesto is the reason why the people of Delhi have shown this faith in us.

Now it is time to deliver. After watching a Ravish Kumar program a few days back I realized that the problems in Delhi are immense and to make Delhi the world-class city that all parties have promised, all MLAs, all MPs, the MCD, the central government and the people of Delhi will have to work together. Delivering on the promises is going to be tough but possible. And once we start delivering, Western UP, Punjab, Mumbai and other places will await us with open arms. The political revolution has reached its second stage with AAP 2.0.

Wanted to write an emotional piece on this victory but ended up just blabbering. To end this blog, I would just like to thank Arvind Kejriwal for leading us like a champion. I would like to thank Kumar Vishwas for always being by Arvind’s side and motivating us with some brilliant speeches and poems. I would like to thank Ashish Khetan, Adarsh Shastri, Meera Sanyal and their team for the work they put into Delhi Dialogues. I would like to thank Ashutosh for heading the Delhi AAP unit and doing an excellent job. I would like to thank Raghav Chadda, Atishi and all other AAP spokesperson for facing the media which has often been exceedingly critical of this new style of politics. I would like to thank Vishal Dadlani for 5 Saal Kejriwal. I would like to thank Gul Panag and Raghu Ram for standing by our cause despite the Lok Sabha results. I would like to thank Ankit Lal and the whole social media team of AAP for always being on top of the game and giving us our beloved #MufflerMan!

And most of all I would like to thank all the ground volunteers. Without you this win would not have been possible. And this image of the volunteers cleaning up after the celebrations just melts your heart away.

Cleaning after winning

And I almost forgot to thank the people of Delhi. Janta jabh deti hai, chappar phad kar deti hai ūüôā

Chalo ab 5 Saal Kejriwal! Jai Hind!

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A short reply for each allegation against AAP

Finally the LG seems to have taken the decision and the Delhi assembly will be dissolved soon. So we will have re-elections in the coming weeks or months based on what the Election Commission decides. I was just thinking about the arguments that we will see in the coming days and decided to come up with a list of what BJP/Congress/Media will have to say against AAP and AK. Let me know if there is anything else that I can add to the list:

1. AK ran away – Yes he resigned because he was not able to pass a bill. Asked for re-elections as soon as possible. Later he apologized to the people of Delhi and said he should have held Mohalla Sabhas for making such a decision.

2. AAP could not fulfill its promises – AAP is the only party who implemented around 50% of its manifesto in just 49 days. Water, electricity, CAG audit, SIT for 1984, abandoning VIP culture, complete mapping of 900 government schools and their requirements, and tried to introduce their biggest promises of Janlokpal and Swaraj bill in the assembly. Lots of other things were also done in the 49 days and a complete list can be found on the Aam Aadmi Party website. As far as fulfilling promises is concerned, when are we getting 15-20 lakhs in our accounts Mr. PM? 100 days? 150? Chalo we will give you some more time. No Problems.

3. AAP is breaking apart РYes, Anna and KB are not with us . Yes Binny and Shazia left. But so what? We fielded 400+ CLEAN candidates and 1.2crore+ people voted for us in Lok Sabha. And the biggest proof of unity within AAP is that BJP was not able to break any of our MLAs despite offering crores of rupees. I salute such MLAs!

4. AK sat on a dharna Рyeah he did. For women safety. Asking for full statehood for Delhi and control over Delhi Police. Modi sat on a dharna in an AC tent a few years back. Jaitley and co tried sitting on a dharna in Varanasi but failed in 2-3 hours.  And a lot of other CMs have protested through a dharna. Big deal?

5. AAP is B team of Congress – Yesterday a Congress representative was saying AAP is B team of BJP. This has been going on ever since the IAC days. In fact at that time if anything we were B team of BJP because we built the public anger against UPA government. Modi should someday thank Anna and the team of IAC for their contribution in BJP’s victory.

6. Foreign funding РI do not need to say much. Just check the links below:

7. AAP has no vision. Only want to spread anarchy – Swaraj. Jan-Lokpal. Honest governance. Transparent funding. Accountability towards the public. Clean candidates. That’s our vision. For more details visit AAP website, search on YT for AK interviews. Read his book on Swaraj. Visit the FB page or Twitter handle¬†of Jagdeep, Jarnail, Somnath, or any other AAP MLA and you will see a sneak peak of AAP’s model of governance.

8. Arvind apologized to Gadkari – False rumors spread my some people on Social Media. He never apologized and will never do so. Here is the explanation behind the meeting –¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw7Srdb9jE8

9. AAP is going the Congress way and getting into minority appeasement –¬†AAP aims to unite all people and the biggest example of this is the following:

At a Muslim function, some guy asked:
“We are¬†18 crore, what are you going to do for us ? ”
Arvind¬†replied… “We are not¬†18 crore.. we are¬†121 crore.”

Here¬†is the video –¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIhjlwhcJHw

Want to read more about why some people hate Kejriwal and the bias of the media? Read this reply –>¬†http://www.quora.com/Why-do-so-many-Indians-hate-the-AAP-and-Arvind-Kejriwal/answer/Rohit-Nigam-3?srid=iNdH&share=1

Anything else? Any suggestions? I will keep improving and adding to the list.

My predictions for Lok Sabha 2014

So the Lok Sabha 2014 elections are at hand and there seems to be a different kind of buzz this time around. Various factors are at play: anger against UPA, a polarizing figure like Modi in the PM race and the entrance of AAP. This blog is just a quick take on my predictions and expectations from these elections. Just for fun!

I am no political expert and have only started following Indian politics after the IAC movement and the formation of AAP. My judgements are based on opinion polls, social media trends and my gut feeling. Obviously when political analysts and opinion polls have gone completely wrong in their predictions, it is not possible for my judgement to carry any weight at all. But here is what I feel will happen:

NDA – 220 (BJP around 185-190)
UPA – 120
AAP – 30
Others – 170

Numbers are not meant to add up exactly (just approximate)

As I am an AAP supporter I would honestly hope they prove me wrong with more seats but as of now, here is how I feel they will get their seats (UDPATE at the very end):

Delhi – 5
Maharashtra – 5
Punjab – 3
Haryana – 2
UP – 5
Karnataka – 2

Other states + surprises – 10-12

I believe there will be at least 10 surprises because some constituencies have a lot of AAP volunteers working very hard and could end up getting the kind of support needed to win those seats. Especially in states like Rajasthan, Himachal etc.

While I would like AAP to reach this target of 30, I believe its still a challenge. They might fall short but then again they might surprise us too. Its hard to predict.

Obviously whats stopping AAP from reaching higher numbers is lack of funds and organizational strength but I believe that even 30 seats will be a huge achievement (especially if they defeat a couple of heavyweights like Kapil Sibal, Nitin Gadkari, VK Singh and even Rahul Gandhi). 30 will be more than enough to stay as a pressure group in parliament and at the same time consolidate the party structures to fight upcoming assembly elections. Its only after they form a government in Delhi or Haryana that we will see their governance again and be able to judge. If they do well then they will spread quite rapidly. If not, well I don’t want to consider that right now….they are the only hope!

One very important factor that’s going to come into play is that Delhi elections are rather early in the polling. Once the Delhi elections are over by 10th April, Arvind along with a huge number of volunteers and other prominent faces will be able to campaign in other states.  AAP has its largest volunteer base in Delhi and they will surely spread across UP, Punjab etc after the Delhi elections. This will help and propel many AAP candidates who have been fighting a lone battle so far.

There is also the interesting battle in Varanasi. I am sure even Arvind does not think that it will be easy to put up a fight there but he is not really fighting to become an MP. The battle in many ways is symbolic but if he can win or even put up a strong fight, there will be a huge effect of that in the coming years.

So with 230 seats we can expect BJP to form the next government with a number of coalitions unless they implode internally. Other than Modi there are definitely a few others in BJP who are eyeing the PM position and if Modi cannot cross the 230-240 mark, then questions will be raised on the so called Modi wave.

So let the elections begin. If you are reading this and will be voting – Vote for AAP ūüėČ

UPDATE

My prediction for UP and Maharashtra are probably on the higher side and AAP will not get those 5 seats. Having said that, they are expected to get a great vote share in Maharashtra (especially Mumbai). Hoping that they win a couple there and also in UP. Punjab on the other hand seems to be embracing AAP big time. If this last phase of campaigning and voting day goes well, we could see AAP getting up to 5 seats in Punjab, which will be amazing.

The battles in Amethi and Varanasi are heating up. I have full expectations for Kumar Vishwas’s win in Amethi. Varanasi will be difficult but as I have mentioned before, Arvind does not take the easy route.