ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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AAP as a Start-up and the New 'App'

The Aam Aadmi Party is quite like a technology start-up that gives established giants a run for their money with its agile business model, nimbleness and ability to innovate. Will it create the new 'App', the new democratic paradigm that people are longing for?

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) created an electoral history bagging 95.7% of the total number of seats and 54.3% of the total number of votes cast in the recent elections for the Delhi Legislative Assembly. This was a record of sorts, exceeded only by three such feats in the past, all in Sikkim, where the Nar Bahadur Bhandari-led Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP), and the incumbent five-time Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling’s Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) had both won all 32 seats in one state legislative assembly election each, in 1989 and 2009, respectively, and in 2004 the SDF had won 96.9% of the assembly seats (31 out of 32). Though these records are important as history, the victory of AAP is unique in many ways. First, no party in India has ever won such elections on a plank solely composed of the promise of clean governance, transparency and accountability. Second, better or comparable electoral performances have all come from regional parties on regional issues; none of these parties took on a mainstream ruling party and threatened the mode of established politics.

The context in which AAP’s feat has come about, indeed, makes it unique in many other respects. This context is of the virtual ashwamedh launched by the Modi–Shah combine after the last general elections, all over the country, netting them a series of electoral victories, and making them appear invincible. The resultant arrogance induced by each successive win bared their fascist fangs, creating a nightmare for all democracy-loving people. The scary dictum that fascists come to power through elections but cannot be dislodged through them began appearing frighteningly real. It is in this terrible context that the historic victory of AAP becomes uniquely important.

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