Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party, after winning Delhi elections in 2015, was pinning hopes on Punjab and Goa in a bid to increase its pan-India presence. But if the poll results of Assembly Elections are any indicator, it is almost a shut case for AAP’s larger dream of a national footprint. The election results show that Congress has clearly swept the public mandate in Punjab and people have paid no heed to AAP in Goa as well. After Congress’ continual failures since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, AAP has been expecting to be the alternative party and end PM Narendra Modi’s bid in 2019 parliamentary elections.
Needless to say, AAP had used all its resources by sending its best people to Punjab in order to build organisations and did well to make its presence felt. This was even showcased in the Exit poll results where it was a leading party in the state. But the final result portrays a big gap between the party and Congress. AAP also made its foray into Goa, but it did not expect much from the BJP ruled state, yet it wanted to penetrate as much as it could. With CM candidate Elvis Gomes, AAP expected to win at least a few seats, but in vain. AAP won ZERO seats in 40-seat Goa Assembly.
AAP’s best bet was Punjab, which had 117 assembly seats for contestation, where Kejriwal could have shown the party;s prowess in running a full-fledged state. It could also have ended his criticism of the conflict between centre and the Delhi government. Had AAP won Punjab, Kejriwal would have wanted to fulfil the promises made in the state especially regarding the curbing of corruption, while also running the Delhi government. This also could have given him much leverage in the next Lok Sabha polls, if delivered. This is mainly because AAP was expected to be slowly emerging as quite the alternative to the done and dusted Congress, but Congress ended the dream run. Back in 2015, AAP had wiped out Congress in Delhi, where it recorded a historic win with 67 seats. The big win and the decline of Congress had given the party much hope.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal-led AAP has started ground work in many other states, like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. But it is hard to say how it will fare, as there seems to be no stopping Narendra Modi-led BJP as of now.
Kejriwal was very serious about the Punjab elections and addressed around 100 rallies in the state. His cabinet ministers also moved across Punjab and highlighted the importance of many issues shrouding the government. It was AAP’s anti-corruption crusade which took on the Badals and Congress leaders led by Captain Amarinder Singh.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal-led AAP has started ground work in many other states, like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. But it is hard to say how it will fare, as there seems to be no stopping Narendra Modi-led BJP as of now. The main reason for failure in Goa was that most of AAP’s top leaders were involved in Punjab, and this crunch will happen in other states too. If the party does not mend ways soon, it won’t be long that it will fade away.