The Aam Aadmi Party has been an exciting new effort in Indian politics. The media calls the Delhi elections a three way race between Congress, BJP and AAP. It remains to be seen what kind of electoral success the AAP can garner. With the elections to the Delhi assembly just a few days away, it might be useful to capture the ten common myths about the AAP
1. AAP is the Team B of Congress/BJP: This was one of the earliest allegations leveled against AAP. This is an easy one used by AAP’s opponents to mislead voters. The very fact that both the Congress and the BJP call AAP the B-team of the other is an indication that this simply can’t be true. AAP for its part has come out with exposes both against the BJP and the Congress. It has been widely reported that BJP had all the information about Robert Vadra’s dealings, but it didn’t have the “guts” to go public. AAP had the gumption to do it, and also exposed Nithin Gadkari. Is this the sign of a B-team?
2. AAP is against business: Attacking corrupt business practices does not make one anti-business. Recent scams have shown that businesses and politicians have been hand in glove for way too long. The Radia tapes gave us an insight into the dangerous nexus between business houses, middlemen, media and the political parties. AAP has shown the wherewithal to break this nexus and introduce transparency and accountability in government.
3. AAP is foreign funded: This is a false charge to say the least, especially when the BJP and Congress have raised 800 crores and 2000 crores respectively – 80% of which are unaccounted for. AAP, on the other hand, has raised 20 crores from 64,000 donors, each of whom can be accounted for. All NRI donors are those who are Indian passport holders. They are required to enter their passport number before they can donate to the party.
4. Sab neta chor hai: While it is true that AAP has never been afraid to expose corrupt politicians, it is also true that this general narrative has been wrongly attributed to AAP. This narrative is reflective of the prevailing perception among the people and AAP’s exposes have a lot to do with this. Unfortunately, it’s also true that when Arvind Kejriwal says there are good politicians in existing political parties but their voices are stifled within these parties, it does not get reported in the media.
5. A vote for AAP is a wasted vote: No vote is a wasted vote. In a democracy, a vote is an expressions of a voter’s belief and trust in a political party. So voters should be encouraged to vote based on their conscience and not base their vote on hypothetical post-election scenarios. Even a negative vote counts – otherwise there would have been no question of introducing a ‘none of the above’ option.