Tuesday, August 30, 2016

AAP Showing Fundamental Chinks in Its Armour

AAP's inherent structural weaknesses are increasingly being exposed. Beyond the obvious liabilities of their nutty and eccentric leader and his fake crusading politics, the intrinsic limits of AAP's viability are manifesting themselves.


My Take
On the one hand, Kejriwal rather behaves like a foreign plant - a cat thrown among the pigeons - zealously seeking political office without any genuine ideological mooring or any real constituency, ethnic or otherwise - which clearly doesn't add up. Nextly, he wants to be an autocrat like the other Lefty kingpins to assure his own agenda for personal power. Finally, he wants to pursue national ambitions - at a minimum hopping from one precinct to another, in order to keep outrunning his failed policies and ensuing voter rejection. These goals are mutually incompatible for the following reasons:

Other Lefty kingpins have each stayed entrenched within their respective local ethnic bastions and haven't been able to spread beyond their local fiefdoms to successfully pursue a national agenda. Most Lefty kingpins have periodically been tossed out of power, and yet were willing and able to bide their time to return back, relying on the ethnic Vote Banks they cultivated to help their return. Kejriwal has no particularly strong Vote Bank support to help him endure - and if he's an American catspaw, as he suspiciously looks like, then it's unlikely that he'll court the leaderless Muslim Vote Bank, since their politics and worldview conflict with America's geopolitical needs (the fact that he keeps that particular Vote Bank at arm's length seems to be prima facie evidence of who's sponsoring him, in my opinion). He can't court any of the other Vote Banks, which all have their own leaders already, while he himself can't claim  membership in those groups to directly represent them. Kjeriwal's need to hold power autocratically means he can't cut deals with other Vote Bank leaders, who will demand concessions in the form of seat blocs. Thus AAP's lack of a strongly-affiliated Vote Bank or natural constituency inherently cripples its ability to survive. It wants to win in Punjab in order to outlive its failure and inevitable ouster from its current Delhi satrap, but autocrat Kejriwal can't accommodate any Punjabi demands for representative power-sharing. AAP can't even emulate the faltering Congress monarchy, because Kejriwal lacks the big-name Nehru-Gandhi aura to bind regional factions together, as well as the massive party machine which took Congress decades to build up. Without that, AAP would be naturally vulnerable to regional splits anyway.

There is no natural niche space for AAP in India's political spectrum. If Kejriwal fails to carry Punjab, the AAP may likely disappear as quickly as it appeared in the first place. If AAP is somehow able to win Punjab, it may not be able to hold onto the Punjab faction for long, as Kejriwal's autocratic style would soon be rejected. This would lead to the emergence of a separate party, and Kejriwal's effective marginalization from politics. The question is whether such a separate breakaway faction in Punjab would become its own rogue force - lacking any affinity to any national party, as is the case with Punjab Congress or the BJP-affiliated Akalis. Given the growing geopolitical confrontation in the region, we don't need any new loose cannons in Punjab, or a return to the 1980s - hopefully that won't be the AAP's legacy..

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