Will the aggressive entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Gujarat change the Assembly poll equations in the state? This question has dominated the political discourse in the recent weeks after the Arvind Kejriwal-led party created a buzz.
The AAP’s presence has made next month’s elections a three-cornered contest in a state where politics has remained essentially bipolar. The AAP, which is contesting all the 182 seats, is in power in Delhi and Punjab.
Here is a SWOT(Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the AAP in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
STRENGTHS: *Appeal among the lower middle class voters and AAP’s pitch that it is a party with a difference.
Siddaramaiah says he & his party leaders will retire from politics, if they fail to fulfill poll promises
*The voter outreach through many ”welfare guarantees” including free electricity up to 300 units per month, Rs 3,000 per month to the jobless, and Rs 1,000 per month to women above 18 years.
*The promises to take up issues that affect voters could make AAP an attractive option.
WEAKNESSES: *AAP lacks a local leader with mass appeal, and its grassroots level organization is no match for that of the rival parties.
*Does not have enough experience in Gujarat politics.
*AAP has no vote bank and local body seats won in 2021 cannot be an indicator for its showing in an Assembly election.
OPPORTUNITIES: *AAP has a chance to make itself heard in Gujarat and create a new political narrative.
*Winning even a few seats in a state dominated by the BJP and the Congress will help the AAP establish a base and see its stock soaring ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
THREATS: *’The Modi factor’ which can again give BJP an edge.
*BJP’s well-entrenched Hindutva politics.