The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has claimed that it has learnt from its past mistakes, done enough to regain lost ground and has solid factors at work, making it confident enough to keep pressing for fresh elections in Delhi.
AAP leader Ashish Khetan said, “In the last 60 days, we have built a proper organisational structure. We have people in-charge of districts, followed by observers and booth-level volunteers.”
The party said that because of the Parliamentary elections, in which it drew a blank in the Capital, its leader Arvind Kejriwal could not spend much time in Delhi. “Now he has not gone out at all, doing Google hangouts, meeting people consolidating and widening our base,” Khetan said.
Trying to recover from exits and blame games, the party also feels that through its ‘mohalla sabhas’, its MLAs have been allowing people to decide how the local area development funds — Rs 4 crore for each MLA — were to be spent. Such moves helped to put the AAP back on track, the party’s leaders feel.
“Our MLAs continue to spend the funds only in the way the people want them to. Projects worth Rs 80 crore are on in full swing my constituency Patparganj,” said senior party leader Manish Sisodia. The AAP is holding ‘mohalla sabhas’ across 27 constituencies it won in the December 2013 assembly elections, creating a “we worked for you” record.
The drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections — only four seats out of 543, all of them in Punjab — however, has showed its rhetoric of “good governance in those 49 days” did not cut much ice with people.
The party now likes to believe that people have understood why they quit. “We didn’t have a majority,” Sisodia said, adding, “But people saw how we worked, checking corruption, reducing power and water bills and improving the condition of schools and hospitals.”
Political scientist Ravi Ranjan said, “AAP certainly looks to be regaining some of its lost ground. Power bills have gone up since the party quit the government. That the Union budget also doesn’t seem to solving many day-to-day problems may go in favour of AAP.”
The AAP believes (prime minister Narendra) Modi will no longer be a factor. “The Modi fever is gone. The BJP which is ruling Delhi by proxy couldn’t keep its promise of reducing electricity bills by 30%. They couldn’t control inflation. They’re silent on corruption. Congress will also lose its support,” said Khetan. He said AAP was the only party that wanted elections in Delhi. Both the Congress and BJP are sacred of going back to people for votes.”
“Elections in Delhi could be held along with Maharashtra and Haryana in October. We have appointed observers in all 70 assembly constituencies. We’re ready,” claimed Sisodia.