Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will not contest the ensuing Mumbai civic polls scheduled next month.
The party has decided to concentrate on the Punjab and Goa Assembly elections instead, where it has grown as a major force.
According to AAP leader Satish Jain, the decision was taken as both Punjab and Goa looked as the best bets for the party.
“AAP has limited resources at disposal. Also, after demonetisation, raising funds has become difficult. So we decided not to contest the BMC polls and utilize all our energies in Punjab and Goa where we stand the good chance of winning,” said Jain.
A similar decision was taken in 2014 when AAP did not contest the Maharashtra Assembly polls saying that it wanted to concentrate on the Delhi Assembly polls.
The AAP, which was formed in 2012, did make a mark in its initial days where it was responsible for exposing various scams like the irrigation and Maharashtra Sadan scam. However, on the political front, it was not able to leverage the advantage and this was displayed in the 2014 parliamentary polls , when of the 48 seats it contested, it drew blank. Lack of a strong local leadership and poor organisational network have been AAP’s problem in Maharashtra.
The party did launch Mission Vistaar in 2015, which was meant to expand the party at the grassroots level but this hardly made a mark in Mumbai.
In addition, its leaders like Anjali Damania and Mayank Gandhi who steered the party in initial days distanced themselves from the outfit following differences with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
However political analysts have called the decision unfortunate. “Elections are the best opportunities for political parties to make their presence felt and they also educate them. It is always a good opportunity for orientation for any party worker,” said Surendra Jondhale, political analyst.
“There is a section of voters who are dissatisfied with the established political parties and they would have preferred AAP,” he added.
What ails AAP
1) No credible face to lead the campaign in the state.
2) No organisational network.
3) The party is run from Delhi and there are a lot of communication issues.
4) AAP does not get funding from various sources unlike other parties.