Punjab 2017 for AAP: It’s a comma, not a full-stop

The Delhi 2013 elections were perhaps the most exciting elections in the life of most AAP supporters. For many of us, they were the first elections that we had followed in our lives. We celebrated the victory and believed that we had arrived and change was finally here. However, we soon realized that politics is ugly and bringing change was not going to be so easy.

The 2014 debacle followed soon after. I wrote then that despite the loss we had gained a lot. We gained vote share in Delhi, we got a second state in Punjab and even in Varanasi we gathered 2 lakh votes and showed that we had it in us to fight the big battles. But there was definitely gloom all around. I remember how disappointed I was that day – even 3-4 seats (out of 7) in Delhi may have been good enough to change the mood but that 0 was disappointing. The media had already written our obituary. But as Kumar Vishwas tells us later, after a depressing conversation he had with Arvind regarding the 2014 results, Arvind ended it by saying “Sirji, ishwar hai, hum satya ke saath hai, hum ladayi ladenge, hum jeetenge”.

Arvind along with all AAP volunteers fought back and how! The Delhi 2015 result was due to the hard work put in by all the leaders and the volunteers. No one predicted the magnitude of that victory. It was the first big loss for Narendra Modi after 2014 and it showed everyone that AAP was still a force to reckon with. AAP supporters rejoiced for a few days but in a matter of weeks we were hit again by an internal feud.

And now here we are. After the roller-coaster ride of the last 4 years, AAP is once again at a low due to this defeat in Punjab. By all conventional standards, this is a brilliant performance by a debutant. To become the second largest party and push SAD-BJP to 3rd position is no small feat. We fought a valiant battle but were let down by our own high expectations. Since AAP has emerged from a movement and most of it’s leaders have been activists, we do not look at politics in the traditional sense. We do not fight “the first election to lose, the second to defeat and the third to win”. We fight to win and win big. Delhi 2013 and 2015 have set the bar so high that it just became impossible to live up to the expectations in Punjab.

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There is a lot to introspect when it comes to Punjab. It starts from the way YY/PB were kicked out to how the Punjab state leadership was dealt with. Questions will be asked on whether Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak knew what they were doing and were giving the right picture to Arvind Kejriwal. Arvind himself has to introspect on how much anti-Modi is acceptable. Modi is no saint and deserves to be opposed but people get tired of the same language day in day out. People will vote for change but change is not limited to bringing down Modi. The result of UP shows that Modi is too tall a leader to be challenged in this manner. The worst part about this loss in Punjab is that we do not have a full state to showcase our work.

Having said that, all is not lost. We have a government in a state with 67/70 seats. We will be leaders of opposition in Punjab with 24% vote share. We will have 6+% vote share in Goa. We have Lok Sabha MPs and will have Rajya Sabha MPs in 2018. MCD elections are coming up and despite Punjab, we should still be able to do well. Gujarat and other states in 2018 are awaiting us if we chose to fight them and provide a vision for change and development. People still look up to us as the principle opposition to the BJP and Modi; Congress is nowhere close to revival. We are still performing relatively well in Delhi despite all odds.

And dear Arvind, I still trust you. I know it’s not easy to be Arvind Kejriwal in today’s India. You get a lot of hate. But I assure you that you have supporters like me who love you to death. Some people may call it blind faith but to me politics needs you to pick a side. You can’t sit on the outside and praise and criticize every leader/party. Sure, one should have the spirit to correct one’s own leader but when you have an elected leader, you have to stand by him in the fight. And Arvind, I am with you! संघर्ष जारी रहेगा|

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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 – Yes, 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 – yeah 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 – I 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 😉

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.