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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014
AAP’s dilemma: To spread out thin or focus only on Delhi?
Brajesh Kumar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 25, 2014
First Published: 22:54 IST(25/7/2014)
Last Updated: 09:43 IST(26/7/2014)
A file photo of Aam Aadmi Party convener and new chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal (2L) and his ministers wave after taking their oaths of office. (AFP Photo)

As Aam Aadmi Party goes for three day national executive meet at Sunam in Punjab's Sangrur district starting Friday, the foremost agenda on the minds of the central leadership would be to resolve one dilemma, once and for all: whether to invest all its energy in the upcoming assembly elections in Delhi or contest simultaneously the elections in Haryana and Maharashtra.

This dilemma in a way delineates the predicament the party is in today and belies the loss of confidence in its abilities.
  
From contesting 426 seats, more than the two national parties the BJP and Congress, in the Lok Sabha elections, held few months ago, to reluctance to go beyond the Delhi in the upcoming assembly elections, the dip in confidence is understandable.

The party not only drew a blank in Delhi in the Lok Sabha elections, losing all seven seats, it failed to open an account anywhere in country barring Punjab where it won four seats.

And given the resource crunch (the donation for the party has dries up after the lok Sabha elections) the party faces, and depletion and fissures in its ranks, it only makes sense to focus on Delhi where it feels it has another chance of coming back to power.

Such an argument has many takers including party chief Arvind Kejriwal.

Read: 'Discontent' in AAP as party tries to salvage image

However like several other issues in the past when the party has split into two, there is no consensus here too.
 
Senior party leader Yogendra Yadav feels the party cannot aspire to be a national party in future if does not fight elections.

Political analyst feel the party swings between two extremes which is bad for any political party. "It has to find a midway, the extremes are suicidal," says Dr Manoj Sinha, a political science professor in Delhi University.
   
The ideal situation for the party, according to Sinha, is to identify few seats in both Haryana and Maharashtra and contest those. "The party has a good potential in Haryana, where most of its volunteers come from. Going for elections in both the states would keep the cadre occupied and the party relevant," he said.

Be that as it may, the party for now is at crossroads and the way it resolves this dilemma will determine its future.


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