The aam aadmi verdict
- Cricketer Mohd Kaif, Nilekani, Ravi Kishen among 194 in Congress' first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls
- Yeddyurappa among 52 Bharatiya Janata Party candidates for Lok Sabha polls
- Malaysia Airlines plane with 5 Indians onboard missing, presumed crashed off Vietnam coast
- No compromise with live-ins or gay rights, moral values supreme: RSS
- Ink attack on AAP leader Yogendra Yadav at Jantar Mantar
AAP's success must not be judged by whether it has formed a government, but by how it has challenged established models of electoral politics.
The highlight of the current round of state elections is, without doubt, the extraordinary showing of the Aam Aadmi Party. Its main competition in Delhi, the Congress and the BJP, may regret with the advantage of hindsight not taking the new challenger seriously. The party, launched just around a year ago, has today become the main opposition party in the Delhi assembly. It has not only become the focal point of much discussion but has also taken away some of the sheen from the BJP.
Its beginning in November 2012 was rather shaky. The break with Anna Hazare, the face of the popular movement against corruption, must have been difficult. The need for a party arose from the belief that the existing system favoured the status quo and the entrenched participants did not want radical change. The AAP decided that it would be the change it wanted to see. It quickly went about doing things differently, right from designing its organisational structure to putting forward its programme of action. It also had an internal code of conduct, as well as a statement of how it was different from other political parties.
The AAP hit the ground running and began its campaign almost immediately. The Delhi gangrape case, it must be mentioned, helped it sustain its momentum and also move away from the shadow of Hazare. Arvind Kejriwal's much-publicised fast against inflated electricity bills in March this year pushed it into campaign mode. In terms of organising for elections, the party distinguished itself from others in three ways: an open and transparent system of candidate selection, fund collection and manifesto preparation. The rest, as they say, is history.