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Lok Sabha Elections 2024| Did not win big but BJP’s diminishing stocks a positive for AAP

The Kejriwal-led party won only three seats in Punjab where it is ruling, while it did not manage to open its account in Delhi, Haryana and Gujarat where it had entered into an alliance with the Congress.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 14:16 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 14:16 IST

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New Delhi: AAP may not have won big in this Lok Sabha elections despite a jailed Arvind Kejriwal managing bail to campaign but the ruling BJP’s diminished status in electoral books have brought some relief to the 11-year-old party that has been drowning in crisis after crisis.

The Kejriwal-led party won only three seats in Punjab where it is ruling, while it did not manage to open its account in Delhi, Haryana and Gujarat where it had entered into an alliance with the Congress. It could say that it increased its 2019 tally from one to three this time.

Though disappointing for the AAP, it solidly backed the I.N.D.I.A. bloc across the country. After floundering early this year, the Opposition bloc managed to sit together only in March post Kejriwal’s arrest when they gathered at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.

Even during its campaign in Punjab where it fought against Congress, top leaders on both sides kept their campaign rhetoric under a leash.

While the results went the other way, the AAP is a bit relieved as it believes that the BJP would not have the strength to corner them by targeting its leaders through central agencies any more and engineer trouble within.

However, AAP, whose anti-corruption sheen has been lost, has reasons to worry if Kejriwal fails to get immediate relief from the courts, as Delhi would be going to Assembly polls early next year and it is to be seen how AAP will steer the campaign.

Since 1998, BJP has not been able to win Delhi Assembly and AAP will face a fresh challenge from the saffron party, especially when Kejriwal’s whirlwind campaign did not cut much ice with Delhi voters, despite having the backing of Congress in four of the seven seats it contested.

In Punjab where it took on Congress, the results were a setback for Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, as it could mean that his stocks in AAP would remain under check at a time when Kejriwal is in jail. A section believed Mann could take centre-stage when Kejriwal is behind bars.

The first and foremost challenge before the AAP would be to set the narrative for Delhi elections and ward off any trouble from the BJP, which would try to entangle it in a political labyrinth. AAP leaders will be bracing for charges and counter-charges over liquor scam and Swati Maliwal episode.

Also, another question will be about the future of the AAP-Congress alliance in Delhi. Interestingly, an analysis would suggest that both Congress and AAP transferred their votes to each other as the BJP victory margin shrunk considerably.

With AAP General Secretary (Organisation) Sandeep Pathak already being entrusted to run the organisation, absence of Kejriwal for a longer period could create rifts within competing leaders in the party. AAP had already alleged that the BJP is working to divide the party.

So far, AAP had seen Kejriwal consolidating power even at the cost of close confidantes and leaders like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. The latest entrant in the club is Maliwal, who has accused Kejriwal’s close aide Bibhav Kumar of physically assaulting her at the chief minister’s residence.

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Published 04 June 2024, 14:16 IST

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