With only 5000 autodrivers turning up, Kejriwal’s attempt to woo loyal supporters fails

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Kejriwal with auto drivers at mega rally.
Eyeing re-polls in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal has started retesting political waters in the national capital. And for brighter prospects, the AAP chief has reached out to city's auto rickshaw drivers, party's staunch supporters in the previous assembly polls, to come back to power. But to Kejriwal's dismay, unlike its previous rally held at Burari earlier this year, just a few thousand auto drivers attended Thursday's autorickshaw mahasabha at Ramlila Maidan.

AAP's rally season begins with a flop

Auto drivers in Delhi have been most vociferous backers of the AAP and played a pivotal role in campaigning during the Delhi assembly election in December 2013 by sporting party flags and posters on their vehicles.

However, Kejriwal's support base suddenly went down after he abruptly resigned as Delhi's Chief Minister in mere 49 days. His fan base stooped further after the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls and gradually started removing the party's posters, banners from their vehicles. Hence, it wouldn't be wrong to say that with this rally Kejriwal attempted to send out a signal that the party still cared about them.

Low turnout of auto drivers in AAP's first rally

The party wanted to send a strong message to opponents Congress, BJP by holding a successful rally of auto drivers but all went in vain after the auto drivers kept themselves away from the gathering.

Mere 5,000 auto drivers turned up for Kejriwal’s mega rally

If one goes with the headcount of auto drivers in Thursday's rally, one can easily predict that the party's supporters' share has dipped considerably. As per reports, merely 5,000 auto drivers turned up for party's first mega rally of the season when their total strength stands at 95,000 in the city.

When asked about the low turnout, AAP leaders came up with a lame excuse by alleging that hundreds of auto drivers were stopped by police in areas like Chhattarpur, Burari and Seelampur. But, the party leaders made no mention of remaining thousands of auto drivers - those who were not stopped by police - as to what kept them away from the rally. This may be understood as nothing but Aam Aadmi Party's diminishing support base in the capital.

Why AAP's mega rally failed?

In his address, Kejriwal lashed out at the BJP and Congress of "not having any intention" to resolve people's problems in the national capital and promised the auto drivers his full support in their fight for redressal of grievance. But the leader gave no accounts of what did he do for the auto rickshaw drivers in the capital city, post Lok Sabha polls.

Post debacle in Lok Sabha polls, the leader was nowhere to be seen raising the concerns of the same auto drivers. This has perhaps miffed the auto drivers in the state who are now skeptical about Kejriwal's credibility. Also, several auto unions in the city have joined rivals BJP and backing the party if Delhi goes for another assembly polls.

All these days, it seems the former Delhi CM was strategising over party's course of action in upcoming assembly polls. And after brainstorming the AAP chief has once again chosen the auto drivers to appease first. But a low turnout of the auto drivers proves that the auto drivers have lost their faiths in the party who are now distancing themselves from it.

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