Kishore Mandhyan: Without muscle, money or mimicry

Updated: Aug 29, 2019, 14:06 IST | Hemal Ashar

The mango of India, Mumbai, has been turned into pulp by this government, says a combative AAP, as it gears up to contest Vidhan Sabha polls in October

Kishore Mandhyan is all about poll-itics. Pic/Atul Kamble
Kishore Mandhyan is all about poll-itics. Pic/Atul Kamble

The co-convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Maharashtra, Kishore Mandhyan, is ready to be swept up in frenzied pre-election preparation, as it swings into the poll mode for the Vidhan Sabha elections in the state in October. He dismisses ‘simply a protest party’ accusations and says AAP is not an alternative, it is the solution.

Excerpts from an interview: 

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to contest elections in Maharashtra in 2019, after not contesting Lok Sabha...

For the Lok Sabha 2019 elections, the party decided to contest limited seats in few states but not Maharashtra, due to resource constraints, assessment of the ground conditions and the overall political environment. AAP is contesting Assembly elections to respond constructively to the various crises in the state.

What will be AAP’s core thrust in Mumbai?

Mumbai has been the victim of abject neglect, lack of vision, corrupt practices, a complicated and inefficient administrative ecosystem, resulting in an inefficient, inequitable and an environmentally sick urban space. The lack of political will to address these issues organically and the fractured governance between state and municipal responsibilities in the management of the city has turned the mango of India into pulp. The template of the Delhi Development model, adapted to the conditions of Mumbai will be a compass in charting the waters in urban governance in the state. 

Also Read: Mumbai: All eyes on Versova assembly elections

AAP was formed with a lot of promises it has not lived up to...

People have to see for themselves. We are a young political party with a government in a state, the principal opposition party in Punjab and a sizable vote share in Goa and Haryana including scores of local body seats in UP. We have national brand recognition in a mere five years, against parties that have been around for decades. All of this without muscle, money or mimicry.

In the recent elections we saw a saffron sweep in Delhi, AAP slipped by a huge margin. Do you see a different pattern in the forthcoming elections?

We accept the mandate of the people but every election is different. While we may be a small party in Delhi, we are loved by the masses for our work and are the leading political party in state politics. We have more today than what the BJP had in 1984. The Congress is struggling to find its feet. AAP is not just an alternative, it is the solution.

 AAP has called the Fadnavis government a colossal failure...

The poor performance metrics released by the state itself, are the basis of us calling the Fadnavis government a colossal failure. The Opposition is largely discredited due to involvement in scams. In this atmosphere, with a gargantuan budget spend on an advertising blitzkrieg with emotional and contextually irrelevant issues, the BJP-Shiv Sena have been able to corner the bulk of the votes.  

Also Read: Will Ganesh Naik be the next Pawar-ful shock?

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