Five reasons why Arvind Kejriwal & AAP failed to deliver

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The resignation of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi has evoked mixed response. While some believe it was inevitable, others expressed shock over the sudden demise of a 49-day-old government. But this was on the cards and here are five reasons why Kejriwal failed and bowed out when it came to performing:

First, the AAP's movement-to-party transition was forced far too fast. Every movement has a minimum gestation period during which becomes mature and strong. It begins with an ideal or a popular issue and depending on its leadership's vision, gradually takes a political shape.

The Congress, BJP and many other regional parties in India today were a movement to start with. The socio-political movements went through various phases before they evolved into a powerful political force and even after emerging as a political force, the movement did not necessarily die out. In case of the AAP, the transition was forced much too faster than it actually should have. The worse part was that the movement and the party became two isolated things after titanic egos clashed and the focus got diluted. The difference between Kejriwal and Hazare was a massive blow to the idea of fight against corruption in India. It had weakened both the movement and the party.

Once in power, AAP made corruption a shield to hide its failure which is strange

Secondly, Kejriwal's great hurry in government sank his ship. Since Kejriwal and his party were in great hurry to produce political magic, they soon lost the focus, thanks to inexperience and populist compulsions. Kejriwal and his party kept on saying that they are fighting corruption, but actually the AAP began to make corruption an agenda to target political opponents and corporate honchos. Before coming to power, the AAP was chasing corruption.

But after coming to power, it began to project that it is corruption which is stopping itself from carrying out its routine task of governance. The ruling party started to discover moral enemies in all institutions of the State (police, courts, media, constitutional posts) while the real story is that it was hitting hurdles at every turn because of its careless and clumsy way of doing things. As a political party, the AAP tried to broaden its horizon but since it never had the expertise on every single issue under the sun, it only ended in messing up things.

The third problem with the AAP was that too many people were speaking on too many things. Pluralism is always welcome in a democratic party but there is a need of an organised hierarchy in any institution to hold it together. It was surprising to see even a fresh member of the AAP explaining what its top leadership has decided or done on every single public platform. Is that real democracy or a loose club culture which is bound to crumble? The cases of Somnath Bharti and Vinod Kumar Binny clearly showed that the AAP lacks a disciplined approach when it comes to controlling its inner affairs. The party has no ideological grounding and when people with different personal orientations speak randomly to defend its functioning, then a big mess is inevitable. A good political party will never have such drawbacks.

The fourth and a big mistake of the AAP has been its over-enthusiasm to go for the Lok Sabha elections. There are many regional parties in this country which in spite of being a formidable power in their respective states, have taken a long time to gain a momentum on the national stage. The AAP, which came into existence just over a year ago and with no organisational network yet apart from an expanding membership drive and gathering donations, became too ambitious to replicate its Delhi feat at the national stage.

Claims like "We will stop all corrupt people from entering the Parliament" are too tall at this moment. The AAP's basic mantra has been: "Today we form a party, tomorrow we come to power, and day after we change the system". This is too unrealistic and as it has been seen, the AAP's over-ambition has seen it losing whatever little it could manage, i.e., the right to rule in Delhi. The party perhaps could not resist the temptation to take on a heavyweight like Narendra Modi by try to produce a miracle. But politics isn't instant coffee.

The AAP's final drawback has been its overdependence on the media for making a minimum progress. It was strange to see Kejriwal making appearances on television channels with little concern for destablising Delhi and repeating what suits best for an RTI activist. Is the man more accountable to the media than the electorate and the Indian democracy? Is governance a matter of fun for him? Kejriwal's words on politics sound vague as well.

He says he doesn't want power and yet enters politics and fights elections and then challenge the Constitution. In the name of fighting corruption, he openly takes names and make serious accusations and then condemn the opposition parties. If he can not deliver even when in power, then what sort of change can he bring in the system? And if he can't rule a small state, then what's the purpose in fighting a national election?

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