Sunday, March 1, 2015

On the opportunity of Aam Aadmi Party to grow beyond Delhi

Kejriwal's reservations on AAm Aadmi Party party quickly expanding to other states as Prashant Bhushan wants are valid. It is a publicly funded party and it will have problems in raising funds like it happened after Lok sabha elections. I think Yogendra Yadav approach of having a medium term view and a long term growth plan seems to be much better.

Kejriwal's view of not fighting a single election for next five years is also kind of misplaced. Party needs to grow by understanding and dealing with public issues. Delhi presents a small state with exposure to mostly urban issues. So Kejriwal should focus on Delhi and hand over the convener post to Kumar Vishwas or Yogendra Yadav or Bhagwant Mann. Then they should contest Punjab and UP. UP is a state where every party has failed and AAP will also get first exposure to rural and law & order issues.

Aam Aadmi Party should contest municipal elections like BMC and BBMP but only after they have people of repute and do ground work on improving municipal issues. Win elections but have no plans to effect change would mean a fast disenchantment with the party. That is the mistake that traditional parties have done.

Apart from expanding, Prashant Bhushan has raised other issues for improving Aam Aadmi Party. Mostly to ensure transparency in its decision making and on ensuring the clean image. For many it seems like allegations but looks mostly like good suggestions that should be accommodated.  It will give AAP more credibility. After all a political party should aim to win elections but that should not be the only goal.

While it is disconcerting to see the fights between top political leaders in a public place, I do believe that differences in the party should always be public and so should the deliberations on the path chosen. The days of old school politics in which things were decided in a closed room is not scalable. AAP is a publicly funded party and needs to justify its decision to its donors. Decisions inside a closed room lacks that legitimacy. 

Dilip Pandey's letter was highly amateurish. He will graduate and will understand that winning elections though vital should not be the only thing that the party should focus on. Other than that Kejriwal is not a newbie in politics. He knows how to carry people together. Only one he was not able to convince to come back was Sazia Illmi. And after the kind of attacks she did on Kejriwal during the elections, I think it was a wise decision to let her go.