Can AAP destabilise main political parties?
This diversity is the nascent party’s strength as well as its shortcoming. The AAP in Maharashtra, spread largely in urban areas, is an amalgamation of different – even contradictory – interests and people. This is partly deliberate, to allow many voices and agendas under a single umbrella, as party ideologue Yogendra Yadav pointed out while in Mumbai, and partly unplanned as the party has had to accommodate an eclectic set of people within its fold given its trajectory of growth.
Still, there’s a preponderance of left-liberals and socialists with people such as Sanyal being the few exceptions. It leads to interesting exchanges in the party’s suburban office; businesswoman and AAP back- office lead Preeti Shar ma Menon’s conversations with veteran socialist Gajananbhau Khatu are a headon clash of world views. “But we are learning by the day and are creating something,” she says.
Let’s call that something a political churn. This, in a nutshell, would be the AAP’s major contribution to the polity where it has candidates. It has so far fielded 39 candidates for the 48 constituencies in the state. Where the AAP has a strong candidate, he/she has been able to set an agenda in that constituency and alter the political discourse there to that of the average citizen. Patkar, for example, says she is now raising the issues that she always was as a social activist. “Now there is an urgency and perhaps some media attention,” she says wryly more