AAP to think small



Stung by its rout in the general election, where it won only four out of 440 Lok Sabha seats it contested, all of them from Punjab, the AAP is now back to thinking small and may not contest assembly elections in Haryana scheduled for this October.

Some of its leaders feel the party needs to channelize its energy and scarce resources in home ground Delhi where it made an impressive debut in the December assembly election but failed to win any of the seven Lok Sabha seats on which it set a lot of store.

In adjoining Haryana too – the focus state of the Aam Aadmi Party after its spectacular triumph in Delhi – it failed to win any of the 10 parliamentary seats.

“We will concentrate on Delhi first. Then we will think whether we have to participate in Haryana,” a senior AAP member said on condition of anonymity.

“The issue will come up for discussion in a meeting,” he added.

Bolstered by its stunning performance in Delhi assembly polls – around four months before the general elections – the party contested in some 440 Lok Sabha seats across India but only ended up with four in Punjab. The party was however most taken aback by the Delhi results.

“Delhi’s result was disappointing. We had hoped that we would get at least two (seats). Now we have to focus in Delhi which is our home ground,” said another party leader.

A section in the party feels that the AAP spread itself too thin in the Lok Sabha polls and should have focused in Delhi.

“I guess a bit of complacency seeped in and we lost in Delhi. We have to perform in Delhi now,” an AAP member said.

Winning again in Delhi assembly polls seems to be an uphill task for the AAP, which managed to win only 10 out of the 70 assembly segments in Lok Sabha polls. In the 2013 assembly polls, the AAP won 28 seats and went on to form the government with the outside support of eight Congress legislators, with its leader Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister.

Kejriwal however resigned in February over the failure to pass Jan Lokpal bill in the assembly. Delhi has been under President’s Rule ever since.

Though the AAP stood second in all seven seats with a healthy vote share of 31 percent in Delhi, it received major drubbing in Haryana with its senior leader Yogendra Yadav even loosing his security deposit in Gurgaon.

Out of the recorded 71.86 percent of Haryana’s nearly 16.1 million electorate who cast their votes, just 4.2 percent voted for the AAP.

The AAP got a total of over 488,000 votes. None of its 10 candidates could get 100,000 votes and all of them lost their security deposit.

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