Prashant Bhushan prefers Rahul Gandhi as PM: It's expected, isn't it?

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Prashant Bhushan prefers Rahul Gandhi
Former Union minister and noted journalist Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday tweeted that senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan told him that he preferred Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the future prime minister of India over BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Jethmalani also said that AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal didn't deny what Bhushan had said.
He also sought a reply from Kejriwal on the matter in another tweet.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote" lang="en"><p>Mr. Prashant Bhushan had declared to me that he prefers Rahul Gandhi to <a href="">@narendramodi</a> as India's PM. <a href="">@ArvindKejriwal</a> didn't deny this 1/2</p>— Ram Jethmalani (@RamJethmalani5) <a href="">January 7, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote" lang="en"><p>in his reply to me. Will <a href="">@ArvindKejriwal</a> now tell truth to his voters 2/2</p>— Ram Jethmalani (@RamJethmalani5) <a href="">January 7, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

What is the AAP then upto? What does its 'revolution' achieve at the end of the day if it eventually supports Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister? Did Kejriwal decide not to contest the Lok Sabha elections to derail Modi's mission and help Rahul Gandhi's cause?

AAP subscribes to middle-path just like the vintage Congress

The AAP is not much different from the Congress as far as its nature and behaviour as a political party are concerned. The AAP, like the Congress, has evolved as a coalition of social strata and subscribes to a middle path from the very beginning, just as the grand-old party of Indian politics had done during its formative years. So if an AAP leader is preferring a Congress leader over a BJP one, there is no surprise in it. For the AAP, by its very nature, is the new Congress.

Not rigid identity politics

There is more evidence to show that the AAP is not much different from the Congress. One, the nature of politics. The AAP is one of those rare parties which does not indulge in any rigid identity politics. It plays around a strong symbol, just as the Congress does, and follow a centrist path to 'accommodate' everybody. Naturally, the AAP is least expected to throw its weight behind a leader who is still identified with a rigid ideological camp.

AAP has no ideology and banks on social coalition, hence it prefers Congress

Even Narendra Modi himself is desperately trying to fit himself in the imagination of the centrist and liberal middle-class to fulfill his Mission 2014. The AAP, which comprises faces from across the society, would find it difficult if it tilts completely to either right or left. The Congress has survived 128 years just by following this strategy. Those tilting to the extremes, whether right or the left, have failed to make a mark on the Indian political scene.

Politics of patronage: Another point of similarity

Another factor that brings the AAP closer to the Congress than the BJP is its thrust on the politics of patronage over that of the ideology. Since these parties don't have a strong identity and are more powered by social coalitions instead of ideologically-trained cadres, they have an urgency to maintain its support base by indulging in a politics of patronage, specially to engage the urban and rural poor. It is because of this reason that the Congress and AAP are frequently seen practising populist politics and making promises that look ridiculous in the eyes of the educated urbanites. But for the target audience, it is a perfect politics.

We don't know whether Kejriwal will care to reply to Jathmalani's tweets, but what is crystal clear is that the AAP is not going to back Modi as the prime minister for now it has a lot to loose.

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