MCD election results 2017: Bhagwant Mann's attack on AAP proves the party needs to think beyond EVMs [Opinion]

Since its inception to power, AAP's tenure as been mired in controversies.

Aam Aadmi Party has been handed out the second major defeat in a period of two months. First it was Punjab assembly elections now it is MCD polls. While it continues to blame rigged Electronic Voting Machines for its debacle, it’s high time the party should get out of denial mode and reflect on the real cause of its defeat.

Kejriwal’s party don’t need to look elsewhere for criticism, now party’s Singrur MP Bhagwant Mann has held the party high command responsible for defeat in Punjab elections. After keeping mum for almost two months, Mann minced no words in slamming party leadership. Speaking to  Chandigarh-based Tribune, he said,” There is no use finding fault in EVMs now, the party leadership committed a historic blunder with regard to the overall strategy in the elections. First, it should look within to find out reasons that stopped AAP’s march to power.”

Likening AAP’s poll campaign in Punjab to a Mohalla cricket team, Mann said,” All were asking one question that who would be the party’s Chief Minister if it won.”  “As there was no captain, no one is ready to take responsibility for the poor show in spite of overwhelming public support.” he added. Mann did not stopped there, he further alleged that  it was because of mistakes committed at the senior level, the AAP, which was one entity three years ago, has split thrice.

For last three years, since it inception to power in Delhi, AAP’s tenure has been mired in controversies.While people of Delhi were expecting Kejriwal to perform , he and his partymen wasted most of the energy in attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and blaming Centre for step-brotherly treatment. The party has also a dismal record of dissent, Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and psephologist Yogendra Yadav were expelled from the party in 2015 after ideological differences erupted with party convener Arvind Kejriwal over selection of candidates for Delhi polls.

From the money laundering charges on Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain, for which CBI has initiated probe to reports  of a ‘secret spy unit’ formed and run by  Arvind Kejriwal, AAP’s image of a clean party has come under scanner. The party has also faced criticism for using public money to defend his case against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. A recent report by Shungulu committee also pointed out “gross abuse of power” by the Arvind Kejriwal government.

The committee has flagged decisions including the allotment of land to the AAP for its party office, appointment of Minister Satyendra Jain’s daughter as “mission director” of Delhi State Health Mission and a number of purported AAP functionaries as “advisors”, reports PTI. Last month, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal  directed chief secretary M M Kutty  to recover Rs 97 crore from Aam Aadmi Party which they allegedly spent on advertisements in violation of Supreme Court guidelines. There was also widespread discontentment, when most of the AAP leaders including ministers of state government left Delhi to campaign for Punjab elections.