AAP success in Delhi: Time to revive party in Mumbai and state, say workersUpdated: Feb 12, 2020 00:33 IST
Buoyed by the win in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is hoping to revive its organisation and build its political base in Maharashtra. The party is eyeing civic corporations and district council polls scheduled this year, starting with the Navi Mumbai civic elections in April, but political analysts are not too optimistic about its chances, given its track record in the state.
“We are going to showcase our Delhi’s model of governance and fight the future elections. We have started our membership drive today and from will be more aggressive. We will become more visible and show our work,” said AAP state secretary Dhananjay Shinde. “Our main focus would be the 2022 BMC polls,” he said.
He said AAP plans to portray itself as an alternative to the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But the party, which had its roots in the anti-corruption movement, hasn’t really done well since its debut in the state in 2014. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, despite losing all 48 seats it contested, AAP was a force to reckon with in Maharashtra. Before the 2014 polls, AAP was responsible for putting then ruling Congress-NCP government on the mat by exposing several scams such as irrigation scam, Maharashtra Sadan scam, sugar scam and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) scam. So much was expected from the party in the Assembly polls held later in October 2014. The results of the state polls were dismal as out of the 48 candidates, 47 lost their deposits.
Post the electoral defeat, AAP kept losing steam, as its top leaders like Anjali Damania, Mayank Gandhi, Subhash Ware, Medha Patkar and Wamanrao Chatap, who were AAP candidates in 2014, deserted the party following internal squabbles and conflict.
According to political analyst Surendra Jondhale, AAP cannot be successful in the state with the current team. “AAP activists are well-intentioned people, but unfortunately have no political base. They are mainly from NGO background and are running the party like that,” said Jondhale.
Political commentator Prakash Bal said AAP lacks the base as well as an effective leadership. He said this was clearly shown in the 2019 Maharashtra assembly polls when again it lost all 24 seats it contested, with 23 candidates losing their deposits.