The chaos in what was considered to be a refined version of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has proved one thing: This unit will remain more a fiefdom of Arvind Kejriwal than a really inclusive outfit fit to be called a democratic party. [AAP to collapse by 2017?]
The biggest strength of the AAP is also its biggest weakness. The party lives by the name of Kejriwal and has nothing else to offer besides this individual. So, the same Kejriwal who looks a Mahatma after his party decimated the opposition in an election, appears to be an Adolf Hitler when a dissent in the party is dealt with iron hands. [Yogendra Yadav & Prashant Bhshan to form new party?]
How far can a party go in this manner?
Yadavs & Bhushans don't really matter for AAP supporters...
The likes of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan do not mean much to the Kejriwal-centric AAP. All those who have voted for the AAP in the three big elections that it has fought so far (two Delhi polls and one Lok Sabha election) have not taken into consideration any other face of the party but Kejriwal.
The others might have been more helpful in fighting prime time debates on television, but have not really proved much in filling up the ballot boxes in favour of the AAP.
So the resignation of a Sazia Ilmi or a Medha Patkar or ouster of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan do not really matter much for an aam voter of the AAP. For him or her, as long as Kejriwal is delivering, nothing else matters.
... but the thinning party is definitely a threat to Kejriwal
But the pattern that is unfolding in the AAP is definitely a reason to worry for Kejriwal, even if he is placed strongly at the moment. The question is: Can Kejriwal allow the party to thin as it has been at the moment if he aspires to lead a national force in the future?
In a parliamentary form of democracy like ours, individuals matter but less than the party (or rather the organisation). If Kejriwal's supremacy in the party goes on seeing more and more examples of sacking and resignation, then one can not really have much faith in the AAP as a new political alternative in India.
the AAP is engaged in an internal rift that could prove to be disastrous
The AAP really doesn't have the organisation still like parties like the BJP or Congress (even a weakened one) and just hoping an individual to make up for a fragile organisation is just too much of an expectation.
Anti-corruption crusade will not serve AAP's purpose forever
The coin called 'anti-corruption crusade' that the AAP uses often is bound to lose its shine after a point of time and like every other political party, the AAP will also need to evolve with time. But one sees that the top leadership of the party is not yet flexible enough to accommodate sharp differences and is ready to see the back of members who are not harbouring same thoughts on some issue. Can subtraction really give the party the boost for a long-term success?
Side characters are also important for a party's functioning
The side characters are equally important in any organisation that is functioning decently. A party might have people with different ideals and opinions at the micro-level and in that case, man-management becomes a virtue.
Just like Mamata, Kejriwal alone will not succeed to deliver either
And Kejriwal is certainly not going to be successful in delivering on whatever promise he has made to his voters ahead of this year's Delhi election just by taking everything on his own shoulders. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is an example. The pathetic state of affairs in the Congress currently is another.
If the AAP doesn't learn ways of decentralising its functioning, it will never have a strong functioning organisation outside Delhi and if it fails to expand its base beyond the national capital, there is little reason to celebrate its presence in Indian politics.
It's time the AAP begins to back-calculate if it aspires to go in front. Or else, Kejriwal could soon be left without a party.