Quitting Delhi for national footprint continues to hurt the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that turns two on November 26, ahead of a fierce electoral battle with a resurgent BJP to capture power in the Capital.
The party recognises that it has upset a part of the middle-class population, and is trying to make things right by projecting its “governance potential” through policy blueprints, and promising that, if voted to power, it will not resign again.
“It’s time for us to take stock, look forward. We have the challenge of holding our nerves of not losing hope, of not giving up too soon. To practice alternative politics, one must stay the course,” senior party leader Yogendra Yadav said.
“The party continues to face the middle-class challenge, part of which did not, and continues not to approve Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation,” Yadav said in an address to volunteers, admitting, “The middle-class does have an attraction to Modi”.
However, he clarified that if Kejriwal had not quit, the party would have been seen clinging to power since it wouldn’t have been able to get its flagship bills passed because it did not have a majority in the assembly.
Yadav feels while the party enjoys enormous support among the lower-middle class, and its leaders must reach out to the middle-class and understand their concerns.
“We should cultivate a cross section of the population,” he said. This will be the third election that AAP will be fighting in a year. It made a spectacular debut last December, winning 28 seats in a 70-member house. It fought the Lok Sabha elections in April-May this year, but could win only four of the 400-odd seats it fought nationally.
“Delhi elections spoilt us, raised our expectations to extraordinary levels,” admits Yadav in his address on Google Hangout. According to Yadav, AAP has “very good chances” of returning to power in assembly elections. Even though it knows that the BJP is likely to unleash, like it successfully did in Haryana and Maharashtra, ‘Brand Modi’ to win Delhi.
“I will not claim that we’re sure to win. It’s tough for us, but it’s no less tough for BJP. They delayed elections because they were scared of losing. Congress will slide further into irrelevance,” Yadav said.
The party says it cannot and will not be able to match the publicity blitz that the BJP is likely to unleash. “Last time we had a budget of Rs 20 crore. This time it is only Rs 30 crore. That’s because we just want to remain visible,” Yadav added.