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AAP's biggest challenge will come from its votaries

The Aam Aadmi Party was able to prove its majority on the floor of the house in Delhi, and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal used the occasion to given his impassioned speech that left no doubt about his and his party’s ambitions for the general elections to be held later this year.

The party has already announced that it will contest in at least 300 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.

As if on cue, leading banker Meera Sanyal has announced her decision to join the Aam Aadmi Party, and so has former board member of Infosys Technologies, V Balakrishnan. The latter had recently resigned from the software giant but had not mentioned his plans.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal

While it is easy to dismiss these two inductions as rare cases, it would be fallacy to do so.

In the last one month, since the results of the Delhi assembly elections were declared, the Aam Aadmi Party has suddenly become the centre of attention of policymakers, industrialists, and indeed the common public. The national media, too, seems to have forgotten its obsession with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and is now fixated on Kejriwal.

It is a no-brainer that Kejriwal and his party will now be under intense scrutiny especially since the mainline political parties such as Congress and BJP would be seething in rage about the attention being showered on a rookie political outfit with absolutely no experience in governance or administration.

That being the challenge, Sanyal and Balakrishnan joining the party would boost its policymaking credentials. At present, it is being accused of being politically naïve and economically imprudent with the Delhi government’s (essentially the party’s) decision to give partially-free water to the city as well as lower the electricity tariff.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s biggest challenge, however, will come from its votaries. Will it or won’t it be able to live up to their expectations?

At the very least, will it implement the promises it made in its manifesto? It is this possible achievement-deficit that will be undoing of a fledgling party that has fired up everyone’s imagination.

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