Pause and think: AAP needs to decide what battles to fight

    Being in the news for the wrong reasons has dented Arvind Kejriwal’s image in the past and he seems to have learnt no lessons. His choice of jail over bail in a defamation case may get him media attention but it shows him in poor light – a promising leader frittering away his energy on non-issues.

    Few would shed tears for his portrayal of himself as a victim. He has made a serious allegation of corruption against BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and the onus is on him to convince the court with evidence. Otherwise, he faces the legal consequences. The subsequent protest by AAP workers, unwarranted as it was, led to traffic jams and inconvenienced commuters. Such mindless agitations can only further alienate people from AAP.

    Instead of sitting together to assess the crushing defeat, finding out what went wrong and formulating a comeback strategy, AAP leaders are back on the road. Kejriwal’s illconceived attempt to revive an AAP government in Delhi backfired as the Congress rebuffed him. His apology to the people of Delhi for the sudden resignation of his 49-day government lost its impact as Kejriwal was back to theatrics which even many of his admirers disapprove of. People found it hard to accept a chief minister sitting in dharna or threatening to violate the law over an issue of questionable merit.

    By taking up needless battles, the AAP leadership would do itself no good. Despite winning only four of the 432 Lok Sabha seats it contested, AAP has some positives to build on. Even in Delhi, where it could not win a single seat, the party has got four lakh more votes than it did in the assembly elections, gaining at the cost of the Congress.

    Its national vote share is higher than that of established parties like the Shiv Sena, DMK, NCP, RJD and the JD(U). What AAP lacks is an organizational network in states and that is what the leadership should focus on instead of indulging in gimmicks.


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