Kejriwal stays away as AAP stares at loss in Haryana

Arvind Kejriwal (DH Photo)

With just three days left for polling in Haryana, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is yet to make an appearance in support of his party candidates in the poll fray.

This is the first time that the AAP is contesting the Assembly elections in Haryana, Kejriwal’s home state.

47 candidates of the AAP contesting elections have been left to ‘fend for themselves’, with Kejriwal’s disappearance from the poll scene.

The dispassion with which the AAP has forayed into elections in Haryana leaves much to be desired. AAP leadership is unconvincingly attempting to camouflage Kejriwal’s absence as part of its strategy ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls scheduled early next year.

AAP’s record in Haryana has been miserable. The party contested Lok Sabha elections on three seats and secured only 0.36% votes, a tad bit better than the NOTA voters (0.33%).

The party is arguably in for a poor show in the upcoming polls. Kejriwal and his coterie in the national capital, according to AAP leaders, are apprehensive of the fallout of the Haryana debacle on the Delhi Assembly elections. Kejriwal, they say, would want to focus on the Delhi elections to escape responsibility for a likely defeat in Haryana.

AAP’s state president Naveen Jaihind, who is arguably the lone party crusader and face of the AAP in the state, is not even contesting the elections. Instead, he is tasked with campaigning for party candidates.

As Jaihind moves out in the field, he makes sure he straps an axe around his body. “This is for self-defense in a state where CM Khattar tells even his workers that he would cut their neck,” says Jaihind sarcastically, taking a dig at the incumbent Chief Minister M L Khattar.

The AAP is bereft of any tangible cadre base in Haryana. Its leaders arguably can’t manage a groundswell among voters. Party’s doleful predicament hasn’t come about overnight. After conquering Delhi, the AAP team lethargically attempted to spread its wings in Jatland. The party suffered on account of its outreach and dearth of leaders.  

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