Kejriwal success story, a case of history repeating itself | india | Hindustan Times
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Kejriwal success story, a case of history repeating itself

BJD's Naveen Patnaik and AGP's Prafulla Mahanta were a few shades better than Kejriwal. Saubhadra Chatterji reports.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2013 12:21 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

In his avatar as the anti-corruption crusader, Arvind Kejriwal had last year threatened to demonstrate in front of Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar over the Odisha chief minister's alleged role in coal block allocations.

From Sunday, as he opened a brilliant new chapter in his political life by bagging 28 Delhi assembly seats, Kejriwal may find himself along with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik on the same side of history. Both leaders had a dream debut in electoral politics.

In fact, Patnaik or even Prafulla Mahanta, the founder chief of Asom Gana Parishad, were a few shades better than Kejriwal.

The former Anna Hazare acolyte may not form a government, but Patnaik and Mahanta actually grabbed power in their first elections.

Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party (AAP) was born out of a vibrant anti-corruption movement while Mahanta's AGP emerged from a six-year-long violent agitation against illegal Bangladeshi infiltration.

Barely two months after the inception of the AGP in October, 1985, the 33-year-old Mahanta went on to become the youngest chief minister of the country.

In Lok Sabha, the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had once said in a light-hearted manner, "Prafulla Mahanta became a CM almost as soon as he got out of college."

Analysing the success of AAP, Praful Patel of Nationalist Congress Party, told HT, "Kejriwal has gained from some momentary disappointment against the Congress. There are issues of local aspiration. But his agenda is mainly based on negative issues."

The Telugu Desam Party too had booked a place in the record book dream debut. It swept to power in Andhra Pradesh within nine months of its formation and gave the state its first non-Congress government.

"Once a party identifies itself with the people's aspirations, it gets their support. But to sustain itself and realise the dream is a different challenge for the leadership," BJD's chief whip Bhartruhari Mahtab said.

Some other parties, however, had to wait for a long time to reach a position to grab power. Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, Kanshi Ram and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) failed to put up a spectacular show at the start, while some parties like Uma Bharti's Bhartiya Janshakti Party sank without a trace.