Is Goa upto it???

By PACHU MENON
Wednesday, 19 February 2020

AAP leaders in Goa should understand that career in politics is not all about activism

Failing miserably yet again to scale the ‘Kejri-wall’ in Delhi, the resounding victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly polls not only dealt a body blow to the main rival BJP and completely decimated the Congress, but also very clearly established that the interests of the common man matter the most when it comes to electing a government.

The ‘dissociated dissension’ very evident across the country over the CAA, NPR and NRC issues notwithstanding, Delhi’s aam janata has shown how adept they are at relegating matters of ‘political frolic’ to the background when assailed by matters which when thought of in the larger perspective will have a definite influence on their lives and living conditions.

Apparently a quintessential Delhiwallah is of the firm opinion that it is his basic needs and the comfort of living in the massive metropolitan area that should be deciding how he votes.

Hence as a party that has constantly strived to better the living standards of the Delhites, AAP would have found itself as the automatic choice of the people in Delhi.

Banking on its performance, the party very aggressively pushed its amm aadmi ‘concerns’ to the forefront of the electoral battle to effectively sweep away all competition.

At a time when the aam aadmi is struggling for basic necessities of life like water and power supply, it is difficult to imagine a keen interest being envisaged by the common man for grandiose developmental plans that promise a ‘country beautiful’ at some undetermined time in the future.

The vainness of the achche din rhetoric continues to haunt him.
The contemptuous attacks mounted on the AAP by the Modi-Shah duo notwithstanding, the party’s think-tank decided to rely on its ‘performance’ to sail home unscathed.

The AAP victory in Delhi is being hailed as a defeat of politics of polarization and hate. Winning a chunk of Hindu-dominated seats and the Muslim-majority seats go to show the AAP success spans beyond communal politics.

More than that it has been the concern for the common man and his needs and the manner in which the AAP-government in Delhi has gone about addressing these issues which has won them the heart of the masses which in turn translated into huge electoral gains for the party bringing it to the threshold of another stupendous victory.

Yet, it is a wonder that the Aam Aadmi Party has not been able to replicate its electoral success in States outside Delhi!
Nothing much needs to be read into the organisation of the huge rally in Panaji city to mark the grand victory of AAP in Delhi. At the best, it is but a formal reaction by a State unit of the party to celebrate the success achieved by it elsewhere.

In Goa though the local leaders do not seem to be averse to the idea of using the Delhi success to prove its identity in the State. However disconnected that they are from grassroots issues, it is difficult to imagine them in the same mould.

If the Delhi win is to provide a spark for AAP in Goa, it is essential that the leaders here rework their strategies and include the aam aadmi more exclusively in their order of priorities.

As much as ‘proposing’ and ‘disposing’ are the prerogative of the political class; political shenanigans are a way of life in democracies. The masses are simply the pawns that adorn the chess-board and sacrificed at will in the grander scheme of things.

With the government and the Opposition at loggerheads over a particular matter, it is always the aam janata which becomes the conduit for a virtual free-for-all between the two.

Kejriwal’s AAP in Delhi has however created a new narrative for Indian politics!
But where does the State unit of AAP in Goa stand when it comes to understanding the travails of the common man! How responsive has the party been to the genuine problems that have assailed the aam aadmi!

The AAP leaders in Goa need to understand that a career in politics is not all about activism. The founding members of the party did in fact ride on the popularity of a historic campaign against Corruption that had the nation in its throes to forge a political unit that aimed to primarily address the woes of the commoners in Delhi.
And have they been successful!

The reforms in the education sector, subsidized electricity supply, free water supply to households, improved transportation, the globally recognised mohalla clinics, free medicines and check-ups - the Aam Aadmi Party’s model of development has indeed changed Delhi.
As the leader of the pack, Kejriwal’s vast experience as a bureaucrat and his extensive social community work that fetched him the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award stood him in good stead enabling him to understand the hardships faced by the aam nagrik in Delhi and work towards easing them.

Could that be said of the AAP leaders in Goa!
When being projected as a party of commoners, it is pertinent to have its leaders gaining first-hand knowledge about the community that they live in.

It is averred that AAP is more reactive and not proactive in Goa. With issues like inflation, fluctuating power scenario, water woes, bad roads and the perennially alarming unemployment ratio in the state failing to get any feasible response from the party leaders, one can’t but concur with the view that despite claiming to be the common man’s party, AAP in Goa needs to be prodded to take up the common man’s issues!

Well that’s politics and those who have chosen to make a career out of it do well know the ‘hazards’ associated with it.
In the meanwhile, having boosted the happiness of Delhites through welfare schemes, it remains to be seen how well AAP negotiates the pitfalls designed by the ever-scheming BJP to unsettle it.

For, apprehensions over the AAP-government being denied a free hand to manage the affairs of Delhi by the Modi-ensemble cannot be ruled out.

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