Why Bengaluru’s citizen activism doesn’t attract Aam Aadmi Party?

Bengaluru is in news for its citizens' activities nowadays. While we have seen residents of localities like Whitefield and Sarjapur have taken up the road-repairing cause on a serious note, putting pressure on the authorities, there have been reports about 12 resident communities, declared winners of India's first-ever Neighbourhood Improvement Partnership Challenge, have received Rs 1 crore grant to effect a makeover of India's IT capital.

The citizens are equally active in finding a way out of the garbage menace, which has left the city's health in a jeopardy. City radios, social media and other media platforms are being used in the project to make Bengaluru greener. It is not that these initiatives have deliver right away, but what is impressive is that the residents of the cosmopolitan city make a routine effort to make the future healthy.


Why doesn't a party like AAP capitalise the scopes that Bengaluru offer?

Against such a backdrop, it becomes necessary to ask: Why doesn't an outfit like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) make any impression in this city? Each of the citizens' initiatives that prove the going distrust on traditional parties give the AAP a huge opportunities to capitalise on.

The party even had days of busy engagement in Bengaluru in the period between its formation a few years ago and the Lok Sabha election last year.

AAP had a big scope in Bengaluru

Given the city's predominantly young population and the party's appealing ideology of weeding out corruption, the AAP had every potential to emerge a strong force in this part of the country.

Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders had also campaigned in Bengaluru, drawing an audience significantly big. The party also fought the Lok Sabha election from Karnataka although couldn't win any seat.

But for a party like the AAP which banks on common citizens' power, a poll loss is just a short-term adversity. Given Bengaluru's educated, sophisticated and young population, it is indeed disappointing to see that the party hardly has a presence here despite igniting several minds.

AAP is now political to the core

The prime reason for the AAP's failure to tap the energy that oozes out from the various citizens' initiatives against a stagnant political administration is that the party itself has become a prison of political shortsightedness.

Ever since it came to power in Delhi for the first time in December 2013 and again in February 2015, the AAP's focus has been completely political.

Contrary to its formative days when the spontaneous energy of the civil society was its propelling power, the AAP of today is merely a political entity that survives by means of mud-slinging.

Just target individuals, that's AAP's ideology now

From one that pledged to fight corruption, the AAP is now an outfit that believes in hit-and-run against top leaders of the BJP to remain relevant in the media, and hence during elections.

The ruling party of Delhi has deviated from serving the common man's interest in the country and is completely absorbed in crossing swords with individuals like Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi or praising Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar or finding an ally in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Arvind Kejriwal isn't ready to look back from where it had all started once: the concern of the common man.

The non-political doesn't excite AAP any more

And as Kejriwal and his party lost the 360-degree view (excepting just the political) and with it the interest and scope to emerge as an all-India phenomenon, green pastures like Bengaluru remained out of their bounds.

Exit of a number of leaders from the AAP has reduced it into a fiefdom of an individual or two and ruined the prospects of it growing as a pan-Indian force.

The party didn't even feel it necessary to revive its organisation in the southern city as a trump card for the future.

Those citizens who are fighting on issues that bother them in their everyday life would have loved to see a Kejriwal or AAP back them in the times of need, but they are not interested in the non-political any more.

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