BENGALURU: A massive victory in the national capital, that too in the face of BJP’s formidable election-fighting machinery led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, has come as a big morale booster for the Aam Aadmi Party that is looking to expand its footprints outside Delhi. Now, its focus is on the IT City Bengaluru.
“Delhi results have given new hope and enthusiasm to AAP workers across the country and sent a message that you can win elections purely based on good work. Our focus is now on winning Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections this year,” AAP state co-convener and BBMP campaign in-charge Shanthala Damle told TNIE. Immediately after the results were announced, AAP workers in Bengaluru and other parts of the state hit the streets and celebrated by distributing sweets.
After its first victory in Delhi, AAP had put up candidates in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. None of them did well in the state. In the absence of a strong organisation, they failed to reach out to the voters. After that election, there was hardly any effort to build the organisation.
However, over the last 18 months, the party is working hard for the BBMP elections. They have already opened ward offices and appointed ward presidents to prepare for the civic polls. From Wednesday, they are taking out a padayatra, asking people to recommend candidates and also give suggestions for the development of the city.
“We won Delhi and also did well in Punjab as we were focused on those states. In a similar way, we want to focus on the BBMP elections, while also strengthening our units across the state. For the next six months, our workers from across Karnataka will focus on Bengaluru and also our party election strategists from Delhi will come to help us,” she said. “We are encouraging good people to join politics and that is the reason we are asking citizens to recommend candidates, who will be fielded from all wards. We are confident of winning the elections,” she said.
The party is well aware of the challenges and knows that it needs to put in a lot of hard work to replicate its Delhi model of winning elections in other states. This time around, they seem to be willing to take up the challenge. However, political analysts are sceptical of APP making it big in Karnataka or other states.
“There is a strong temptation to say what has happened in Delhi can be replicated elsewhere, but I believe that it is not prudent for AAP to attempt it at this stage. What they have managed in Delhi is because of a sustained, planned and long-term strategy,” said political analyst Prof Sandeep Shastri.
“To replicate it in other states, they need to have same sustained ground-level work, similar credible face and I don’t see that anywhere else in the country at the moment,” he said.
Political analyst Prof Harish Ramaswamy too said that it is not an easy task for AAP to replicate its Delhi success in Karnataka, especially in the absence of a strong organisation. According to him, the party should make inroads into smaller states like Goa, before focusing on bigger states like Karnataka.
AAP’s victory a good sign in Indian politics, says former PM
Bengaluru: Former PM and JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda congratulated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on his victory, and said that the AAP’s victory assures the rest of India, yet again, that “desperate acts of communal polarization have limited currency.”
He said Kejriwal “richly deserved” this win, and that it is a remarkably good sign in Indian politics that the latter’s focus on development paid off. “The talk of your government’s good work in health and education sectors has reached the corners of Karnataka and the rest of India too,” the former PM said.