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Why You Need The AAP To Do Well

By Sahil Mehta

The Election Commission has just announced the dates for the assembly elections in 5 states. Scheduled to be conducted from mid-November to early December, these elections will serve as an appetizer to gauge the mood of the nation before the impending General Elections. 

Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh are all set to go to polls. Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh should see the BJP successfully retain power. Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh have both done reasonable well for their states.

Rajasthan has historically never voted for the party in power. We (Rajasthanis) have alternated parties for at least the last two decades. And while a few of  my friends currently living in Jaipur tell me that Ashok Gehlot has done some real vote-winning work by giving everything for free to the poor (Medicines, education, etc. etc.) I 'm still going for a BJP win.

Mizoram is all but a given win for the Congress with no real national party having much presence there.

There, then, remains the intriguing question about the assembly elections in Delhi. Sheila Dixit is the incumbent for the last 15 years, and the opinion, from the few Delhi people I know, is that she will remain as such for 5 more years. 

I for one do not believe a Congress sweep is hardly a given this time around. There has been some development in Delhi in terms of infrastructure. However the rising rate of crime against women (which is not really in the hands of the Delhi government, since Delhi police is not accountable to the CM), the rising electricity prices, a vicious opposition, and charges of graft against Mrs. Dixit all set the stage for a tumultuous election!

Throw into the mix a social activist turned politician by the name of Arvind Kejriwal, and a party that calls itself the Aam Aadmi Party, and we in the words of the revered Ravi Shastri, "are in for a firecracker of a contest"!
To be perfectly honest, the BJP hasn't done much in these last 4 years or so to make Mrs. Dixit uncomfortable! Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP have taken the task on themselves. And they have made a nuisance out of themselves with such gusto! They have been in your face, attacking both the state and central ruling parties at the slightest whiff of a scandal.

Of course when you make too much noise, some people are bound to get pissed off. The question then is whether they made the right noises in the right places!

While only time will tell us that, here are a few reasons that you should hope that they do well! 

5. For the very first time, or at least first time in a long long time, there is a bunch of people who've come together to try and clean up our political system. While these are definitely not aam aadmis, coming from various spheres of social activism, they are as close to being educated middle class, (people like you and me) as politicians have ever been! They could be a beacon for hope for a generation which has repeatedly been told that you are the future and then shunted to the side!
4. The AAP is a well intention-ed party, fielding candidates on the basis of a procedure which tries to reward merit. They're trying to break the politics of identity and community. All those who complain about same caste marriage phenomenon should at least be thankful to these people. Think about it!

3. It can't get any worse! I mean come on, given how things have been going in the last few years, it is improbable that these people will do worse than our current or past leaders. Your worst case would be that things continue the way they have been over the last few years, which is to say getting worse rapidly! And frankly while everything they say may not be practical or sensible, some of the policies and issues the AAP talks about really do make sense. And we really could do with a less corrupt system!
2. They have balls! For Arvind Kejriwal to come out and say that he will contest in the constituency from which Sheila Dixit stands is bold, considering the fact that he will likely get crucified! But you have to appreciate the courage. What India needs today is men/women of steel who are willing to do things the right way rather than the easy way!  
1. Because even a decent result for the the AAP will strike fear into the hearts of other political parties and just might make them clean up their act a bit. There's nothing a politician loves more than the power that comes with his seat. If you take it away, he might actually take notice of public sentiment. 

It would be naive to think that the AAP will win the assembly elections in Delhi. But if they can snatch even 10-15 seats in the 70 seat legislative, it would be a real morale booster for us disparate people looking for hope!

A lot of people really don't like Kejriwal and hence the party. I heard him being called a lot of nasty things. There's a good chance you might be one of them. But what you need to realize is that there are more people than Kejriwal in this adventure.

And when you're caught between the devil and the deep sea, there are no right choices. The AAP is as good a bet as any if you want change!

I'm praying for a miracle in Delhi. May be you should too! 


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