Monday, February 3, 2014

Posted on 02/03/14

Is AAP ready to lead the country after 2014 Lok Sabha elections?

In India, sudden and unexpected rise of AAP in Delhi elections has surprised everybody. People are sick of corruption, incompetency and lack of leadership by Congress led UPA and BJP led PDA governments. They are looking for an alternative to these established parties.Sudden win by AAP in Delhi state elections has given a hope for a third possibility. AAP is also riding with a high moral and has declared that they would contest 300 + seats during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. They are hoping to gain majority in the parliament and form the next government.

But is it possible for AAP to form next government? Do they have enough strength to run the government if they are elected to power?

This article is going to discuss these two questions with no political bias and only on the available facts.

1)      Party Structure - To win the Lok Sabha elections, AAP needs party structure in every state, city, district, Taluka (Kasba) and village. AAP being a new party does not have this structure in all the major states. Their support base is restricted only to a few metropolitan cities in the northern part of India. They are unknown entity in the interior parts of India and in southern part of India. It is not possible to win enough seats with this restricted identity as a “North Indian City Based Party”.
It will take few years to build party structure at a national level.

2)      Party Hierarchy – AAP being a new party lacks the hierarchical structure. This structure is very important for the proper functioning of the party and to win the elections. Currently all the leadership is concentrated only with person; Kejariwal. This structure cannot work if AAP wants to get majority in the Lok Sabha elections. There needs to be a clear structure of office bearers and their delegation of authority at each level. Currently this is not even well defined in Delhi unit. This party structure needs to go down to every village in India. Only then AAP can get the grass root level support. Developing this structure takes time.This again will take few years to happen.

 3)      Clear agenda – AAP needs to have a very clear vision and an agenda. Branding the established parties as CORRUPT or posing with an anarchist posture cannot become an agenda for AAP to win the Lok Sabha elections. AAP needs to remember, the populist schemes like free water, free electricity etc. can win you the elections but they are not economically sustainable. Many governments have tried this in the past and they have failed. AAP cannot run the government either with an agenda of “Anti-Corruption” or with the constant confrontational approach. Hence the agenda needs to be realistic, reflecting the true aspirations of all the sections of the society and promises that can be delivered.At this point of time AAP does not have a clear agenda of how they would run the government if they are elected to power.

 4)      Need a Team to govern – India is a very big multicultural country and with lot of complex issues, aspirations and challenges. The issues can range from basic needs like Roti, Kapadaa, Aur Makaan to the big aspiration of being a space supreme and a world economic leader. Now you can see the range of expertise that would be required to run the government! Understanding these complex issues itself, is a big challenge, let alone finding the solution.AAP need to build the team by attracting the wide spectra of experts in verity of fields. Is AAP working on this requirement? The reality is AAP does not have a plan or a focus to fill this void. They are wasting their energy in confrontational issues and announcing free bees to get cheap popularity. Sure they are attracting some new faces but their focus is on getting celebrities rather than experts.Experts are not going to join AAP just because of Kejariwal’s anti-corruption stand or anti-establishment stand. They will join AAP only if they see a vision and the agenda to give a progressive government. I think the problem is two fold.One; AAP neither has a nation building vision that would attract experts from various fields nor they have a plan and the focus on attracting such experts in AAP.Two; even if AAP eventually find such people, they will still need time to build a functional team. In short, this cannot be done before 2014 elections. Which means AAP cannot give a progressive government if they are elected in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

 5)      Need to respect the constitution and behave responsibly – After becoming Chief Minister; Kejariwal has taken great pride in picking up fights and confrontation with the establishment. He has claimed that he wants to SHAKE the system and only then the CHANGES can happen.Some reporters pointed out that he is disrespecting the constitution and that would start the anarchy in the country. To that he replied “that is what he wants to happen and only then change can happen. And for this, if some people call him anarchist then he is ok with that”! Kejariwal needs to learn world history a bit more than what he knows.No arrangement in the world is perfect whether it is democracy, communism or monarchy. In the latter two arrangements, there is no public participation to bring in the change. But in democracy, people can make the right choices and bring in the change. It may take longer time but changes are done in a peaceful manner. If you see all the matured democracies in today’s world, you will find that they too have gone through the similar problems in the past but they overcame these problems by making the necessary changes to the constitution. They did not resort to the anarchy to bring in the changes. I would like to give a good example here. In my early 20’s, I used to ridicule Gandhiji’s nonviolence principle and used to hold him responsible for many problems that India was facing then. But as I grew older, started looking the world with a different perspective, started understanding the world history in a different way, I realized something very important; the importance of Non-Violence. If you see any country which got independence or change of regime through violence, was never able to achieve peace and stability quickly. The violence continued even after achieving the objectives. Whereas, the countries like India which fought for the independence for a long time but did not resort to the violence, were able to quickly gain peace and stability after the independence. That is when I understood the importance of nonviolence and my respect to Mahatma Gandhi increased many folds. When Kejarwal talks about SHAKING the system by using anarchist methods, he needs to be very careful about it. Indian people are really unhappy with the current set of politicians and a slightest provocation and irresponsible behavior from a role model can turn an ordinary person into an anarchist. Kejariwal may be able to set off this event but it would be very difficult for him to control it thereafter. The whole country will play a very heavy price for this kind of irresponsible behavior of Kejariwal. Kejariwal has to realize, AAP was elected through democratic process and thus Kejariwal is a part of the current system. He needs to learn, how to work WITHIN the system to bring in the required changes. That is how all the democracies have matured and not by anarchist and confrontational approach. If Kejariwal cannot show the maturity to run a small state like New Dehli, how can he be trusted to run the country if elected in Lok Sabha elections?

 Final remarks and predictions –AAP without the party structure, without clear objectives and agenda, without the team of experts, without the maturity to channel the popularity in the right way and without the respect for the constitution, is in NO POSITION to win the majority of seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. AAP’s claim to win the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is a just an air bubble that would grow and then pop!

But AAP cannot be ignored because they are insignificant. They may not be significant to win the elections but they will be very significant in deciding the fate of other parties. Read the following analysis.

People are really fed up with Congress government and they want a change. If Congress party is expensed out in this election then the only other national party that can lead India is BJP. In absence of AAP, all the anti-Congress votes will go to BJP and BJP will be able to get the majority and give a stable government for the next five years.

But with AAP, all the equations will change. AAP may be able to win about 15-25 seats all over India but they will decide the fate of other parties. They can swing the results in other 70-80 constituencies by dividing anti-congress votes. Basically they will eat into the anti-congress lunch. This division of anti-congress votes will hurt the BJP’s prospects and they will not be able to get the majority.

In fact, no party will get the majority and it will result into a hung parliament. There will be political instability in the country. Lack of political leadership will result into economic slow-down, high unemployment, high inflation and most important… uncertainty.

Like in 1996 experiments, few odd parties (like third front parties) may come together to form the government in the initial period but they will not be able to sustain. People will undergo hardship and once again, they will get totally disillusioned with the non-congress government. Lok Sabha will get dissolved before completing full term and midterm-elections will be declared within 2-3 years.

At that stage Congress will once again give a message that only Congress can give a stable government and people would believe in it. People will vote for Congress saying; Congress may be corrupt but at least they can run the government for five years!

Hence once again congress will come to power within 2-3 years and that would be the end of anti-corruption movement forever. That would be the end of all the changes that people of India are seeking for.

Congress is a veteran in these games and that is why they supported AAP in New Delhi to form the government. Congress knows, they cannot win 2014 elections but just by supporting AAP, they can destroy the chances of any non-congress party forming the next government. Congress will make the whole country suffer to achieve its political results.

For those who don’t believe in this analysis, see what happened in 1979 when Charan Singh became PM, or in 1990 when Chandra Shekhar became the PM or in 1996-97 when Gujaral and Deve Gowda became PM. Each time country’s economy suffered and people suffered. Ultimately Indians elected Congress back to power on the point of stability.

Same story is bound to repeat again if people vote for AAP.  

If Indians don’t want to go through another painful phase of political instability then vote wisely and vote for the stability and the prosperity. Give some time to AAP to get its act together and then try them out in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Kishor Katti


  1. Even though all the apprehensions mentioned in the article are valid, I guess one single reason of 'non-corrupt' approach is enough to give them my vote. What is the use of stability with corrupt governenment? All my life, I was a BJP voter as it appeared a 'better and cleaner' party compared to all others. But, now we have an alternative. I guess I am going to vote for AAP this time ... experience will come with time ... BJP took so many years to come to power and they even had to dilute their policies for coming to power! The single biggest enemy of this country is 'corruption' and they (AAP) appear to deal with it ...

  2. The point brought out by Din Vishesh is very valid. Corruption is a very big problem in India and we need a leader and a party to deal with this effectively.

    However Anti-Corruption movement cannot become the ONLY agenda to win the elections. Country needs leaders and administrators to provide safety, security, prosperity, growth, education, health care, keep upright position in the international matters and so many other complex issues.
    This does not mean, I am advocating tolerance for corruption in lieu of other points mentioned above. Please read my argument carefully.

    In past too we had people who claimed to give honest governments. Classic case was that of V. P. Singh when he became P.M. in 1989 by riding on the Bofors scandal. What happened to all that? His government was never able to unearth who took the bribe of Rs. 64 Crore? Did the corruption go down after that?
    Hence we should not vote based on such single agenda.

    Rather I would suggest following points.
    1) Do not vote based on religion, caste or any such nonsense.
    2) Vote to a candidate who is honest, educated and is capable to deliver the promises. That means do not vote because of party!
    3) Do not vote for the candidate who promises free bees like free water, free electricity etc. This never works in the long run. Many politicians have tried that in the past and it has failed miserably.
    4) Do go out in good numbers and vote. Do not take off with your family to a holiday resort!
    5) I hear election commission in India has allowed new option to vote and that is "None of the above". That means, you can reject all of the candidates if they are not appropriate. If the votes given for the "None of the above" is in majority then that election will be null and void. This will put pressure on all the parties to give good candidates.

    As you can see, there are so many options that we all can exercise and do our part to curb the corruption. And believe me this will WORK. Politicians will have to bend down and change to the public demand, otherwise they will parish.

    But for a single agenda of anti corruption, PLEASE do not put the entire country in serious danger by voting for AAP, who do not have the capability to run the government at this point of time.