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Lok Sabha elections 2019: How AAP came down in Maharashtra

In 2014, despite losing from all 48 seats, AAP had created an impact in the state. This time despite announcing the formation of Maharashtra Samruddhi Aaghadi, at the last moment, the party decided it would not contest the polls.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 27, 2019 10:36 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Mumbai
AAP,Lok Sabha elections 2019
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was a force in Maharashtra, but five years later, it has now been reduced to a defunct outfit.(ANI)

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was a force in Maharashtra, but five years later, it has now been reduced to a defunct outfit.

In 2014, despite losing from all 48 seats, AAP had created an impact in the state. This time despite announcing the formation of Maharashtra Samruddhi Aaghadi, at the last moment, the party decided it would not contest the polls.

Mayank Gandhi, who authored a critical book on the party, AAP and Down, said such flip-flops have become a trademark of the party. “In the current scenario, the AAP could have become a credible alternative in Maharashtra. However, it has now been reduced to a spent force thanks to the constant interference by the Delhi based leaders,” said Gandhi, blaming Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. “Kejriwal dissolved all Maharashtra units on October 2, 2015, even though they were performing very well. Even Rahul Gandhi or Amit Shah won’t dare to take such a drastic step. The party never recovered from it.”

Before the 2014 polls, the AAP was responsible for putting then ruling Congress-NCP government on the mat by exposing several scams such as irrigation scam, the Maharashtra Sadan scam, sugar scam and the Mumbai Cricket association scam.

However, all well-known activists like Medha Patkar, Anjali Damania, Mayank Gandhi, Subhash Ware and Wamanrao Chatap, who were AAP candidates in 2014, have deserted the party.

Another AAP leader Sunder Balakrishnan, who contested from Mumbai South Central seat last time, said the ouster of AAP founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav in April 2015 was one of the saddest episodes.

The AAP, however, defended itself. “Kejriwal does not interfere in our state units,” said Ruben Mascarenhas, National joint secretary, AAP. “Dissolving the state unit was a mistake. We are reaching out to those who left us,” he said.

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 03:48 IST

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