Kejriwal’s Karnataka dream: AAP will have to sweat it out

Karnataka, currently a BJP bastion, is where Kejriwal and his AAP would want to try out some heroics next.

Delhi first, followed by Punjab. What’s next for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), one might wonder. But AAP boss Arvind Kejriwal has already made plans for his next conquest. And that is a state down south.

Karnataka, currently a BJP bastion, is where Kejriwal would want to try out some heroics next. The state is all set to go in for the Assembly elections in a few months, and that is what AAP is looking forward to. Kejriwal is as confident as ever. He is sure that the Aam Aadmi Party would form a government in Karnataka, akin to what it did in Delhi and Punjab.

Holding aloft the anti-corruption slogan, Kejriwal has reminded the people that the common man in India took the political plunge by demanding a legislation against corruption. And that political outfit gave shape to its first government in Delhi. It followed it up with Punjab later on. The next would be in Karnataka, Kejriwal is screaming on top of his lungs to make the country know that AAP is arriving with a bang in Karnataka.

AAP banks on anti-corruption plank

As always, corruption is the plank that has stepped on. In Karnataka too, he has lashed out at the government alleging widespread corruption. He eve went on to say that the previous Congress government was known as ‘20 percent commission government’ and the current BJP administration is a ‘40 percent commission government’. Not just that he also sought attention to what he called a zero commission government in Delhi. Even the Prime Minister of the country has called the Delhi government the most honest government, Kejriwal proclaimed.

Citing the case of violence across the country, Kejriwal attributed all the violent behaviour to the government in power at the Centre, saying that if people want riots, they should vote for “them”. But if it is schools, hospitals, free electricity, free transport, free water that the people look for, they should vote for the AAP.

Arvind Kejriwal seems to be gunning for the people’s mandate in Karnataka this time around. And, if he proves successful in doing exactly that, it will be a watershed moment for the political arena of the South India, which has never seen an AAP blossoming in this part of the country hitherto. But it is not going to be an easy talk by any count.

Will AAP be able to make inroads in rural Karnataka?

This because, the people of Karnataka, have been comfortable with choosing either the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party for government. A new political entity has been alien to them, and it would take much effort from Kejriwal and his AAP to make inroads into rural Karnataka, leave alone urban centres such as Bengaluru and Mysuru.

What Kejriwal might be looking at could be tie ups with regional outfits that share the same sentiment as the AAP. But then politics is a game that would need much more than alliances. Getting into people’s minds may not be a cakewalk for AAP and its boss. How Kejriwal would strategize AAP’s journey into people’s minds is what political observers across India would love to know in the coming few months. For, it would need some war room tactics of an effective kind.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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