1. SPLIT IN THE RANKS The Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign energy was slowed down by a series of rebellions sparked off by the removal of state convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur, with a number of party members and volunteers deserting the party. AAP’s negotiations with celebrity politician Navjot Singh Sidhu too fell through early in the campaign cycle.
2. CONTROVERSIES GALORE The party’s youth manifesto showed a picture of a broom, AAP’s election symbol, alongside the Golden Temple. Party chief Arvind Kejriwal kicked off another scandal by staying at the house of a former Khalistani Commando Force militant days before elections. Its MP, Bhagwant Mann, got in trouble with police for allegedly inciting violence against journalists who were covering his rally.
3. THE ‘OUTSIDER’ Kejriwal’s team of strategists was seen as ‘outsiders’ and even internally seen as sidelining state leaders. The party lost a lot of time in projecting its chief ministerial face in a state where big leaders carry massive name recall.
4. ‘ANTI-PUNJABI’ IMAGE The party was up against the sweeping perception that it doesn’t understand Punjab -- neither its politics nor its culture. Kejriwal made a series of attempts in the last leg of the campaign to fight the party’s “anti-Punjabi/anti-Sikh” image, but the damage was done.
5. CORRUPTION TAINT For a party challenging the incumbent SAD-BJP government on the issue of corruption, frequent allegations that AAP had failed to keep a record of donations affected the party’s claims of being open and transparent.