Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Sack your advisors, Mr Kejriwal

aap images

Much has been said about the need for a purge in the Congress and how the first family should have been banished to the boondocks. But I wonder why nothing has been said about the need for a purge in the Aam admi Party. They have cut such a sorry figure that there is a need for the party to be purged of them. Forthwith.

As a supporter of the party, as a person who voted for the party in the last Lok Sabha election, I want to know why they acted as they did. I demand to know who is responsible for the utterly stupid decision to contest as many as the 434 seats that they did. I demand that the people who pushed the party in that direction be shown the door for poor advice.

Because I know that Arvind was not in favour of fighting this many seats. I know that Arvind was never in favour of fighting more than 20 seats. But no, that would not do for the advisors who pushed him into accepting their advice that all 543 seats should be fought. With no money or volunteers, no wonder then that AAP cut such a  sorry figure.

The good news is that  the party managed to get as much as 33 % of the popular vote in Delhi this time, up from the 33 % in the Assembly elections. In most of the rest of India though, they fared miserably. I am told that one of the leaders of the party had argued that AAP should fight as many seats as they did to build up the organisation. Instead with a performance as pathetic  as this, the leader may have actually sent the party to the mortuary instead.

It is a pity that Arvind did not stand up to these people. I have known Arvind for a long time and his political instincts are well honed. He brought Anna in to raise the visibility of the campaign and when the time was right, he did not hesitate to go it alone, when Anna opposed his entry into politics. He knows when to go full throttle ahead with his agitation and when to back off. The victory in Delhi is a result of 20 years of hard work by Arvind and his team. In contrast, there was no organisation anywhere else in the country. To win elections, one needs an organisation and Arvind knows this. But for reasons that I cannot fathom, he got swayed or may be he succumbed to the pressure of those who did not have his grasp of politics. This was a huge mistake. May be he saw this as his way of being democratic but this approach has turned to be counter productive.

Now he needs to get rid of these people who climbed on to his plank as they saw it to be a good thing and will not hesitate to scamper away if things get hot. Arvind is in for the long haul, which is why he needs to purge the party of these howsoever well intentioned people but whose views are driven more by fashion and fads and most importantly, the desire to look good than anything else. Politics requires a streak of ruthlessness and an image be damned approach. Public memory is short and if you do good, they stay with you. Look at the increase in the AAP vote share in Delhi.

What shocks me is how over the last few days, a few of these well intentioned people have been undermining Arvind systematically. These are people who fared miserably in the elections or did not stand at all but now want to decide which way the party should go. I hear that they are now bludgeoning Arvind into submission. This wont do.

My support for Arvind is unconditional. I am not in the least swayed by what the media says about him, good or bad. I have been tracking his work since the mid 90s and I know that he has already made a huge difference.  But if Arvind wants to continue to make a difference, he needs to purge his party ruthlessly of the people who wont let him lead.  Forthwith. Mercilessly. Image be damned.

Do it, Arvind. For your sake. For AAP's sake. For the country's sake.

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