When the party came into existence, there were questions as to whether the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would unite people. Well, now there seems to be an answer.
AAP came into existence out of a popular movement in 2011, and exposed widespread anger against the corruption in India. Two years later, the party put up a good show in the New Delhi elections held this month.
AAP may not have won the largest number of seats in Delhi assembly elections but the party put up a good fight to get the second highest number of votes in the Capital city.
AAP made its remarkable debut by winning 23 seats in the elections, blunting the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which won in 27 seats. Clearly, the strong anti-incumbency sentiment against the Congress party, which governed in Delhi and runs the central government, also benefitted AAP.
More surprising was that veteran congress leader and a chief minister for three times, Sheila Dikshit of the Congress, lost to the founder member of the AAP Arvind Kejriwal in her own constituency and that too with a big margin.
Only few months ago, the party and its leader were dismissed by some saying it as well intended; but quirky and irrelevant. There were predictions that this party would die even before its birth and the party’s election symbol – the broom — became the butt of election jokes.
For a party that is just a couple of years old, 27 is possibly a number they would not have believed possible. The novice candidates from AAP, who defeated the veterans in the BJP and Congress have backgrounds in public speaking, journalism or teaching.
But AAP ran a persistent and exceptional campaign in the last few months, raising general issues like the prise rise and the increasing corruption and inequality.
Kejriwal, in a press conference after the elections, stated, “This election has showcased how the honest politics can win over the corrupt politics.”
Now that the numbers are in, it is a long journey ahead for the party. But Kejriwal has taken the first step in the right direction.