It was a pleasant November Day when Aam Aadmi Party announced that it will contest the Assembly elections in Gujarat with the pious motive “Gujarat Ka Sankalp, AAP hee khara vikalp” – Gujarat’s Promise – Only AAP is the real alternative. AAP was out in the Gujarat battle field to establish a base for themselves outside the Half-State of Delhi where Arvind Kejriwal is forced to act as a Half-CM. BJP was quick to call the honest man’s party, a B Team of Congress. Funnily, Ajay Maken called AAP, a B Team of BJP as he thought AAP would cut into the “anti-incumbency” votes. While both national parties disregarded AAP as a B Team of the other, India’s first social media party (Aam Aadmi Party that is) made it clear whose side it was on. Party Supremo Arvind Kejriwal, in a meeting, minced no words and exclaimed “If somewhere AAP is winning, then give your vote to AAP. If any other party is winning, give vote to them, but defeat the BJP,”.
Initially AAP Decided to contest on all 182 seats. It was soon clear to them that Gujarat was a tough place to fight elections in. But Aam Aadmi Party responds readily to the changing ground realities. Hence it was decided that the party will contest elections only on select seats. 29 Constituencies where the party felt that the BJP’s popularity was on the wane were finalized for AAP’s Grand Gujarat debut. But ground reports kept pouring in. Soon it was clear that even those 29 Constituencies will be too much for India’s most successful political startup till date. Kejriwal’s image was severely damaged by recent drubbings in Punjab, Goa and MCD elections and the great man was not in a position to take further insult, hence It was decided that Senior party leaders Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Kumar Vishwas will not campaign in Gujarat, making it the first state where the Delhi chief minister was not campaigning for his party candidates in an assembly election. A wise call, one must admit.
But as BJP and Congress’ Gujarat Campaign gathered steam, there were some more unfavorable ground reports for the AAP. So, they decided to focus on 10 seats where the party was hoping for a victory. Another wise call!
Let’s take a quick look at How AAP Performed on those seats:
1.) Palanpur: Nabhani Rameshkumar Khemrajbhai (452 votes)
2.) Rajkot (East): Ajit Ghusabhai Lokhil (1927 votes)
3.) Gondal: Khunt Nimishaben Dhirajlal (2179 votes)
4.) Lathi: MD (Bhanubhai) Manjariya (797 votes)
5.) Kamrej: Ram Dhaduk (1454 votes)
6.) Karanj: Mehta Jignesh Dhirajlal (325 votes)
7.) Pardi: Dr Rajiv Shambhunath Pandey (539 votes)
8.) Dhrangadhra: Dadhaniya Kamlesh Muljibhai (505 votes)
The party ended up playing an (unwilling) foil in two constituencies.
A very poor scorecard, one must say. But one must also salute the courage and undying spirit of Shri Arvind Kejriwal. He is a fighter who loves a good fight. Results seldom worry him. We wish him all the best for Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram elections next year.