Anand K wrote:At the end of the day, the formation and growth of AAP is not different from formation of the INC.... or even other national parties such as Jan Sangh/BJP. Bunch of people from different parts of India congregated, found common ground and a charter and in time, things fall-in together. But now, India is free and a bit long-in-the-tooth and the economic/religious poles of India have been occupied by parties - paternal centrist-left/right, left, right, casteist. Will AAP, now based on the anti-corruption pole alone make it? I mean, before it falls apart from the weight of it's own contradictions and weight and "diversity"? Regional satraps and local power bases are good but you need a flag to rally around, right?
Or are we going to see a novel idea of 545 manifestos and onwards to a non-Westminster system?
I think there are two choices ahead for AAP-
1) Maintain a phlegmatic non-ideological stance on Economy, Security, Strategic Affairs, Social Relations - but position oneself as supremely ideological on "Governance" (which category would include anti-corruption, direct democracy etc..).
2) Enunciate a stance like other parties on Economy and other matters. If it does choose this path - it would certainly gravitate towards socialist / leftist ideology
If AAP goes for path (2) as seems likely based on many indications so far, both BJP and AAP will benefit. Basically all the centrist / rightist folks who gravitated to AAP thinking it was a "governance" play will now revert back to BJP as the only center-right option remaining. So BJP will get to keep its flock intact. However the left, center-left constituency will get further divided between Congress, its stooges and the AAP...So, all in all, BJP wins big but AAP is also likely to gain somewhat in comparison to Congress and regional parties.
If AAP goes for path (1) - it will be a completely new experiment in global democracy. A party that has an ideology centered purely on governance, but no fixed ideology on economics or other fronts. This could be a rather interesting experiment - and will have the advantage of cutting somewhat more into potential Modi vote-base in urban areas. But it may become increasingly clear that "direct democracy" is just a more fancy phrase for extreme populism....This path would be more difficult to predict in terms of results. As of now, though, path (2) looks much more likely.