7 January 2014
In Delhi where AAP had one year preparations, it could come only as number two party and come to power with the support of the party in number 3 position. Many surveys have clearly stated that Kejriwal was the top choice for CM post of Delhi, but when it came to Lok Sabha it was Narendra Modi.
But now, there is an expectation and promotion of the idea that AAP will become a significant player in Lok Sabha elections and stop the BJP's strong challenge. Is it possible?
Based on the earlier opinion polls it is not possible. Does AAP have the organizational resources in other states to go for electioneering. Prashant Bhushan talks of 1977 elections, wherein Janata party won. But the united opposition had a well developed organization. From 1967 onwards, Congress was suffering reverses and North Indian states had coalition governments. AAP does not have any such organization. A simple extrapolation of Delhi also will not give AAP a big chance and it is not at all logical. In Delhi, BJP had certain shortcomings. But for Lok Sabha they mounted the strongest challenge in Indian history with Narendra Modi at the helm with a track record of administrative success and electoral success. The election issue now is development and governance of the country as far as BJP is concerned. Surprising and silently, BJP has won over the Muslim community in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Now one can say BJP has penetrated into every vote bank of Congress.
Can AAP make inroads into the vote banks in various states now in a short time? Kejriwal tried to do it and it backfired immediately. Also the inexperience of his team is already showing up in small missteps of his ministers and colleagues. It is better for him to focus on administering Delhi rather than plunge in Lok Sabha elections leaving the administration of Delhi.
IBTL made a statement that in around 15 lok sabha constituencies -7 in Delhi, 4 in Haryana and 4 more -AAP can have some significance. Otherwise its effect will not be much in this lok sabha election.
Devendra Kumar in an article in Mint dated 7 January 2014, expressed similar sentiments and predicts that any presence of AAP will be limited urban constituencies only.
India Today published an article in its website on AAP's prospects (7 Jan 2014) and gave the opinions of some psephologists. Two of them predicted that around 5 to 7 seat loss may come to BJP. But worse is in store for Congress. Congress may lose a bigger chunk of votes to AAP as happened in Delhi. If Congress cedes ground in this election, it may find it difficult to retrieve it back. Their caution to Congress is to not to support AAP in any way with the hope damaging BJP's strong challenge. They may end up hurting themselves in the long run with that strategy. That is the past experience as far as Congress is concerned.