The newly appointed National General Secretary of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Sandeep Pathak, recently claimed that only AAP could defeat the BJP.
Pathak is a senior party leader and member of the Rajya Sabha. He is believed to be the man behind the party's foray in Punjab and Gujarat politics.
AAP, which acquired the status of a "national party" after ten years since its formation, is hoping to make its presence felt in a big way in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, unlike its earlier outings in 2014 and 2019.
Currently, the party does not have a single Member of Parliament (MP) in Lok Sabha. All its 10 MPs are from Rajya Sabha.
Pathak's claim seems in line with the party's strategy to project Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as a national alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
In fact, in the recently held Gujarat assembly elections, the AAP claimed itself to be the party in the race to defeat the incumbent BJP and form the government in the state.
However, despite a high-octane campaign, the AAP could only manage to win five seats and only 13 per cent of the total vote share. AAP's 128 candidates lost their deposits, in a House of 182 assembly seats.
The party's chief ministerial candidate, Isudan Gadhvi, state president, Gopal Italia and star candidate, Alpesh Kathiriya, lost badly.
In Himachal Pradesh, too, where the party claimed to be in the running, it failed to secure even a single seat. In many of the seats, the party received votes less than 'none of the above' (NOTA).
Since AAP's foray in politics, Chief Minister Kejriwal has fancied himself in a national role. However, other than Delhi and Punjab, the party has not been able to register much electoral success, especially where it has been in direct fight with the BJP.
In Delhi and Punjab, too, the AAP has replaced the Congress, rather than denting the BJP's vote share. In Delhi, especially, the BJP has managed to not only retain its vote share but also increase it election after election.
In the recently held MCD elections, the BJP increased its share by almost 3 per cent as compared to its share in the MCD polls in 2017.
Therefore, Pathak's claims of being the only party that could defeat the BJP appear difficult to believe.
In fact, if anything, the AAP could claim itself as the only party that could assure a 'Congress-mukt Bharat', considering its track record of eating away Congress's vote share.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.