AAP ki Tea Party

From batting average to political strategy and support base, AAP and the Tea Party are similar. The big difference: Tea Party is for lesser state control, AAP is not a believer in markets and finds no contradiction in decentralisation of power and increasing state involvement in public life

The search is over. Ever since the conservative, doctrinaire, adamant, self-righteous, right-wing political movement called the Tea Party (TP) was formed in the US in time for the Congressional elections in November 2010, analysts and political junkies have searched far and wide to find its left-wing clone. And India has found it in its own backyard. There is a grand equivalence between the two and thus, if you want to forecast what the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will do, for which we have no history, we can look at the TP successes and failures to gauge the future. This is admittedly a counter-factual analysis, but it is the need of the hour.

The counter-factual works because the two parties are near identical in most important respects. To begin with, their entry into politics. It was the same year, 2010, with the TP several months earlier. (Legitimate query how much of tactical politics did the AAP actively and consciously copy from the TP?)

The record of the TP is as follows: in their debut November 2010 elections, it won five out of 10 Senate seats contested and 40 out of 130 Congressional seats. Batting average 40 per cent. The AAP won 28 out of 70 seats batting average identical at 40 per cent! Data for the 2012 election are murky in terms of definition as to who was a "Tea Party" candidate. Broad consensus is that the TP fared worse than 2010. It is believed to have won 4/16 Senate seats and about 15-20 per cent less seats in the House. Batting percentage a lower 25 per cent. This is a decline of 15 percentage points from their initial 2010 performance. If symmetry and parallels were to hold, then the AAP should win 25 per cent in a re-poll for the Delhi assembly, or 18 seats.

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