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This is my first blog post after Aam Aadmi Party won a symbolic victory in the Delhi Assembly elections and on the shaky crutches of outside support from the Congress, formed a minority government. Before the December 4 election, I had gone to Delhi for a couple of weeks to campaign for the AAP. At the outset, I feel proud to have played a role in the historic election campaign that catapulted an ordinary man to the Chief Minister’s post. My time in Delhi was memorable and I would love to share my experiences as a political activist working in another city. However, all of that can wait.

Since yesterday I have been receiving a certain WhatsApp message about AAP from some people. Perhaps they sent it to me to seek an ‘answer’ or ‘explanation’ on the charges made in it. Generally, I do not react to most of the misinformation and allegations thrown about on AAP’s ‘intent.’ The fact that this text was forwarded to me by a fairly apolitical friend of mine however has provoked me to write this piece. To be fair to both sides, I am posting a copy of that message, exactly as I received it:

Arvind Kejriwal is more dangerous than congress. This is a big game plan of congress to keep BJP out of power in the next LS election. See:

1) Kejriwal will fulfill all the promises of AAP like reducing power tarrif and giving 700 litres of water at least for two months…so that he can develop a image of most developing PM candidate and the can overpower the image of Modi..

Any govt can easily run the govt for three months even if its bankrupt. Giving free water and reducing power tariff will affect the Delhi state exchequer badly but this is something is hidden charges carried by the AAP govt.

2) The aim of AAP is not to win in the LS election but [to take a] chunk of  large portion of Anti-congress votes….which will go to BJP..even if AAP succeed in getting 30‚000 votes in urban areas this will reduce the chance of BJP getting win on at least 30 seats…on the contrary this will increase the congress seats by 30-40.

3) now the calculation will go like this if LS election is declared today and AAP doesnt contest election than BJP will win on 200+ seats and Modi will surely become the PM..congress will win on 90-100 seats….but as explained above there will be a decrease in BJP and increase in congress seats by 30-40. Now the seats share is congress 125-135 and BJP 160-170…

4) Though BJP is still the largest party like in Delhi it won’t be able to form the govt as all the parties except Shiv sena and akali dal will support to congress in the name of psedu secularism including the newly Patriotic party AAP as they did in Delhi now and BJP will sit in opposition…it will be a Delhi picture….

5) now what next congress will nominate Kejriwal as PM and will be part of govt just as happened in Delhi…..

This is because the aim of congress is not to win but to clean the image of congress and wat can be a better process to nominate newly so called immandaar Arvind for PM and the aim of AAP is not to win but stop BJP from win..

6) Arvind talks good just like Mahatma Gandhi…it is Gandhi who stopped Sardar Patel in becoming PM and made Nehru as the PM. History repeats itself Arvind is next Nehru and Modi is Patel…

It is after 60 yrs people realized the mistake of 1947 now it will take another 60 yrs to realize who Kejriwal is?

Hats off to congress politics.

Unfortunately for the BJP, the Kejriwal/AAP fever has gripped a large chunk of those, who were once Modi cheerleaders. Quite a few of my friends are in a dilemma; they looked up to Modi and the BJP to provide some relief, but now they can see an AAP that may be able to do the same without the additional baggage of corrupt politics and a controversial past. Sensing the genuine challenge AAP poses to mainstream political parties, the BJP’s SM team seems to have begun this campaign against AAP.

First, I must compliment the genius, but wicked logic and lucid explanation of a very complicated scenario in simple words. I wish whoever has written this had gone ahead and explained why BJP lost the 2009 elections also, because this message seems to suggest that only an Aam Aadmi Party can stop BJP from winning elections.

Second, the subsidy that the AAP Government in Delhi has given is only on essential commodities like water and power. Delhi’s finances are strong enough to afford a subsidy of this nature and it will not ‘affect the exchequer badly’ or result in bankruptcy. Do you know what would really affect the exchequer badly?  In last year’s Karnataka assembly elections, BJP had promised free laptops on being elected to power. Had BJP won in Karnataka, it would definitely have ‘affect[ed] the exchequer badly.’ The fact is, todays BJP is very much like the Congress party when it comes to economic policies. Those who study manifestos closely would know how both Congress and BJP promise freebies in order to get elected to power. They are the real threat to this country’s finances.

Third, I am an active volunteer of the AAP and the aim of the party is to win as many seats in the Lok Sabha elections as possible. I have had long, private conversations with the senior leadership of the party in Maharashtra. I am confident about their intent and capabilities. Hundreds and thousands of people are giving all their time and resources to AAP to do something for this country. There is no hidden agenda of ‘defeating Modi’ or ‘defeating Congress’ either. AAP has set out to destroy corruption in politics and governance. Congress and BJP are part of this system of money-through-power and power-through-money which AAP aims to fight. For the first time we have a party that has managed to amplify the voice of the common man.

Fourth, this argument that ‘if AAP doesn’t contest, this will happen and that will happen’ is childish. In the 2009 elections, where was Aam Aadmi Party? Why was BJP still not able to defeat Congress? The BJP does not own the ‘anti-Congress’ vote share. If it wants votes, it should ask for a ‘pro-BJP’ vote. Crying foul because there is a better Opposition party that is taking away opposition votes is lame.

Fifth, let’s take a look at the allies this message talks about. 1. Shiv Sena – the party that is running the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)  for the last 17 years. The BMC’s budget is around Rs 20,000 crore every year. Where does this money go? The BMC runs some of the worst schools in the country. Mumbai has some of the worst roads in the country, with hundreds of crores being spent in ‘filling up pot holes’ annually. Meanwhile the average assets of BMC corporators rose three times between the 2007 and 2012 elections. 2. Akali Dal – This party has overseen one of the most corrupt Governments Punjab has seen since Independence. The state’s economy is in shambles as a result of 6 years of BJP-Akali Dal rule. The terrible economic condition has made unemployment figures peak and recent statistics shows that Punjab’s jobless youth has been pushed into drugs. The Government has failed to curb this menace. (Read this Washington Post article for more details: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/drug-epidemic-grips-indias-punjab-state/2012/12/31/092719a2-48f6-11e2-b6f0-e851e741d196_story.html)

These allies will support Narendra Modi’s NDA government. Yes, they may not be pseudo-secularists like the Mulayams and Lalus this country has seen, but does that make them clean, non-corrupt, non-criminal political parties? “Coalition compulsions” Part II?

Finally, I have a few questions, that I have been kind enough to answer for you.

1. Who exposed Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra? Arvind Kejriwal.

2. Who exposed Union Minister (from the Congress party) Salman Khurshid? Arvind Kejriwal.

3. Who targeted Sharad Pawar in the MCA scam in Mumbai? AAP’s Anjali Damania.

4. Who defeated 3-time Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit? Arvind Kejriwal.

5. Who is challenging Rahul Gandhi in his own bastion of Amethi? AAP’s senior leader Kumar Vishwas.

6. Which are the next two states AAP is supposedly targeting? Congress-ruled Haryana and Maharashtra.

Friends, the time has come to look beyond Modi, Rahul or even Kejriwal for that matter. We have replaced Congress with BJP, BJP with Congress for decades. A historic opportunity has been presented to us where we have one chance to uproot the traditional criminal politics and install a new clean, progressive political system. Are we going to fall for these conspiracy theories? Or are we going to seize this great opportunity to free ourselves from an oppressive system? We keep saying ‘Ye system hi kharaab ho chuka hai!’ System badalne ka mauka mila hai toh badlenge nahi? Zara sochiye..