Has the AAP lost its mojo?

The disaster that AAP faced in Punjab and Goa assembly polls should leave it worried as the civic elections are just around the corner in Delhi

rahul

Rahul Dass | March 11, 2017 | New Delhi


#Arvind Kejriwal   #Goa   #Punjab   #poll 2017   #elections   #Aam Aadmi Party   #AAP  


The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which dramatically swept to power in Delhi in 2015 bagging 67 of the 70 assembly seats, has failed to work its charm in the 2017 assembly elections.

Of the five states that went to polls and whose results were counted on March 11, it fielded candidates in Goa and Punjab – and the results must have left the AAP leaders wringing their hands in despair.

In Punjab, where comedian-turned-AAP leader Bhagwant Mann led the charge, the party barely got two dozen of the total 117 seats. The Congress made a comeback in the state that had been ruled by the Badals for a decade.

AAP fared even worse in Goa where it failed to even net a single seat. The Congress had done pretty well in the state that has 40 assembly segments while the BJP did put up a tough fight.

The AAP seems to have misjudged the two states where its leaders carried out intense campaigning. It’s clear that the battleground of Delhi is quite different from Goa and Punjab.

Born out of the India Against Corruption movement, the AAP had promised to turnaround the city – some say at the cost of Delhi.

After the rough and tumble of the campaign in the states, the party is now focusing on Delhi where the civic polls are likely to be held in April. The notification for the municipal elections are likely to be issued later this month.

The party has launched an advertisement blitzkrieg, placing large advertisements of its various schemes and projects that it has launched. AAP has decided to contest all the seats in the MCD polls.

Last year, the AAP make its debut in the municipal polls by fielding candidates in the by-polls in 13 seats. AAP won five seats, Congress four and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) three.

The AAP government has been in loggerheads with the Narendra Modi led union government and the bitter tussle between chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and former LG Najeeb Jung had left the city bruised. The relationship does not seem to have improved much under the new LG Anil Baijal, who earlier this week rejected Kejriwal’s Rs 1 crore relief to an ex-soldier’s kin.

Read: Is this AAP’s Battle of Zama?

Kejriwal and other AAP leaders must have been hoping for a repeat of the Delhi victory in Punjab and Goa, so that they could then set their sights on the parliament in 2019.

But that was not to be.

The AAP is a young party with huge ambitions. Perhaps it is time to set its own house (read Delhi) in order before overstretching itself and in the result, losing its magic touch.

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