Riding on the populist promises like free water and electricity, AAP scored 67 seats out of 70 in 2015 Delhi assembly election. This was the peak of AAP’s popularity, since then the fortunes of the party, is on a downward spiral. The wings of the party were clipped amid decline in the popularity of party supremo Arvind Kejriwal, and it fielded only 36 candidates in the 2019 general election compared to 434 in 2014 general election. Before that, the party lost municipal elections in Delhi to the BJP. In the current scenario, the popularity as well as credibility of Arvind Kejriwal is at all time low, and assembly elections in Delhi are to be held in less than 6 months.
Correlation between donations and Electoral Performance of AAP
Donations to the AAP have a direct correlation with the popularity of the party. The number of donators to the party was 1.43 lakhs in FY 2013-14 and the total donation was a whopping 50.64 crore rupees. This was the year when the party fought Delhi assembly elections and performed exceedingly well, electorally that is.
In FY 2014-15, the party fought Lok Sabha election and 2015 assembly elections, and received the highest ever donation of 54.14 crore rupees. The number of donators however declined to 85 thousand from 1.43 lakh, but the amount increased by 4 crore rupees. This means the donation amounts were bigger or some corporate(s) backed the party. The party got only 4 seats in 2014 LS Elections. However, in the 2015 assembly elections, the party registered a massive victory.
The donations to the party have registered substantial downfall in FY 2018-19, despite the fact that it was a general election year, and party made huge efforts to get donations in India, and abroad. In 2014-15, a general election year, more than 85,000 people donated for the party but the number declined to 41 thousand in 2018-19, another general election year. The amount of donation also declined to 17.73 crore rupees in 2018-19. In the first five months of ongoing fiscal year, only 11 thousand people donated for the party, the total amount stood at 9.75 crore rupees.
What lies ahead for AAP
The correlation between electoral fortunes of AAP and donations to the party is very significant. According to political analyst and psephologist Sanjay Kumar, the director of the Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies ‘the early spikes in donations symbolised the hope associated with the AAP, which came on the scene as the frustrated Indian voter’s answer to endemic corruption.’
Therefore, the hope people placed in AAP has declined over the years. Given the highly transparent and incorrupt regime of BJP at centre, the party could not ride on any anti-corruption wave, like it did in its early days. The party has not been able to deliver on the ‘populist’ promises it made during elections, voters are angry with the party and leadership, and this will be dent the electoral fortunes of AAP in 2020 assembly elections.