Kejriwal vs Modi: Is it time for AAP to stick its finger in the national pie
New Delhi, Feb 13: Will Arvind Kejriwal be Narendra Modi's challenger in 2024. There are a good four years away for the next national election, but there is already talk that Kejriwal would be the face of the Opposition in the 2024 elections.
While the AAP would already be nurturing its national ambition, leading psephologist, Dr Sandeep Shastri feels that Kejriwal should not dip his finger in the national pie now.
Moments after the victory in Delhi, a banner was put up outside the AAP office in Delhi. It said that people should join AAP in a nation-building exercise. To join AAP dial, 9871010101, the banner read.
This banner is an indicator that the AAP has once again started to nurture national ambitions like it had done in 2014. In 2014, the AAP launched the Main Bhi Aam Admi campaign. It had provided a toll-free number for people to either give a missed call or send a message in order to join the party.
Dr Shastri says that the Delhi victory is based on a sustained and solid groundwork done over a long period. One does not see that groundwork elsewhere and hence I feel the Delhi replication on the national stage at this juncture is difficult.
In 2014, AAP had fielded 434 candidates. The party managed to win four seats, all from Punjab. The vote share of the party was at 2 per cent. 414 of its candidates forfeited deposits as they failed to secure one-sixth of the vote in their constituencies.
In the 2013 Delhi elections, the party had won 32 seats, but in the national poll, it failed to bag even a single one. Even in the 2019 national election, the AAP did not win a single seat, despite it bagging 67 of the 70 seats in the assembly polls.
In the 2019 elections, the AAP did throw its hat into the national ring. It fielded candidates from Delhi, Goa and Punjab. In Haryana, the party had formed an alliance with the JJP and contested on three Lok Sabha seats.
Out of the 40 seats that the AAP contested on, it won 39 of them. The AAP also tried its hand in the assembly segment outside Delhi. In Goa, the party lost all the seats it contested in 2017. In the Punjab election of 2017, the AAP contested with the Lok Insaaf Party. In all the alliance won 22 seats, of which 20 were bagged by the AAP.
In the Haryana and Maharashtra elections, the AAP contested on 70 seats but lost all of them. It fielded 24 candidates in Maharashtra and 46 in Haryana.