Verdict 2017: Will AAP emerge a new pillar to rally opposition?

Rajat Kain

Kejriwal-Grewal-Delhi-Police

Aam Aadmi Party is no less than a phenomenon in the Indian politics. An year after its formation, it entered 70-member Delhi legislative assembly with 28 MLAs trouncing Sheila Dikshit and Congress party all the way. Five months later, they won four Lok Sabha seats in Punjab and nine months later they smashed all the records in electoral history to get home 67 MLAs in Delhi.

All legends have their tales of exploit and fading away. For Aam Aadmi Party and its chief Arvind Kejriwal, these elections will be a mirror for where it sees itself headed.

The party is tipped to do well in Punjab even so much to have it own government in a full-fledged state. Whereas, it is likely to emerge a king maker in Goa, the second state where it entered the fray.

Wearing Delhi CM’s hat, Kejriwal has often alleged Centre’s interference, and had even moved the Supreme Court seeking an interpretation of elected government’s powers in Delhi.

But all that may rest, for a while, if it forms a government in Punjab.

AAP-Arvind-Kejriwal-in-Punjab-400x265That will also mean it has marginalised Congress party even further. And a king makers role in Goa will only cement its arrival at the national politics, pushing the already down-in-the-dumps Congress party in the corner.

That scenario may also prop-up Aam Aadmi Party and its convenor Arvind Kejriwal in a role to rally opposition forces along or behind it. Though that space is bound to crowd up if Congress slides.

Going forward from here, it will then emerge a serious player in the states of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, where it has already begun working on ground. The rise of AAP in these states will also see steady decline to near demise of the Congress party, unless the latter finds way to get relevant again in the Indian politics.

However, if it fails to reach a magic mark in Punjab and remains in the margin in Goa, it will have a task cut out to keep its own relevance alive in the states at least.

Yesterday’s exit polls are clear at least on one thing, if AAP is not winning Punjab, it will be the leader of Opposition in the state.

From there it will be seen how AAP is able to hold itself in an extended role and stamp its presence in the states it is eyeing to break in.