Why AAP Won? Why Lok Satta Failed?

Jayaprakash Narayan had given up his IAS practice and voluntarily retired to his profession much before his actual retirement. JP had started Non-Profit NGO Lok Satta (1996) which he had ran for 10 years where he brought in various reforms under various governments and then subsequently turned it into political party in 2006. JP’s Lok Sattya Party failed to win in elections. However, in 2009 JP managed to won from Kukatpally Assembly seat and served as MLA. In the subsequent election, Lok Satta was routed. Since then, Lok Satta has become

AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal

Whereas, Aam Admi Party’s rise in Delhi politics and Arvind Kejrwal winning thrice as Delhi CM is a phenomenal in Indian politics. Arvind Kejriwal, a former IRS officer, resigned his job and took to people’s movement India’s Anti Corruption Movement in 2011. He had joined Anna Hazare’s movement against Corruption and participated in movement for Lok Pal bill. In November 2012, Arvind Kejriwal formally announced Aam Admi Party and contested in 2013 Delhi polls where his party secured 28 seats out of 70 seats. Kejriwal had defeated then incumbent Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit of the Indian National Congress (INC), in her constituency of New Delhi by a margin of 25,864 votes. Although BJP had won 31 seats, Kejriwal became Delhi CM  as he had formed a minority government in the hung assembly with outside support from the eight INC MLAs, one Janata Dal MLA and one independent MLA

Reasons For JP’s Failure

JP has resorted to more advocacy politics rather than ‘mass’ politics. While Kejriwal took to streets even when he was occupying CM seat, one can’t imagine Lok Satta’s JP taking to streets and protests which is against to his principle – causing inconvenience to commuters. But these principles of JP have branded his party’s politics as “bureaucracy politics” and “class politics”. Also, unlike AAP, Lok Satta doesn’t have good cadre. The failure of second-rung leadership in Lok Satta is the major reason for party’s failure overall. JP as a leader failed to develop leaders within the party. Also, lack of glamour for the party in media and lack of mass appeal affected the party’s prospects.

Reasons For Kejriwal’s Success

Contrary to JP, Kejriwal has resorted to mass politics and played it to the gallery. Kejriwal knows best how to make it to headlines and catch the attention of people. Apart from this, he has also hit several controversies. But his popular schemes and freebies have helped him a lot in the recent polls to crush BJP’s hopes in Delhi. Kejriwal’s sudden rise in Indian politics is indeed a lesson to several other political parties.


However, AAP and Arvind Kejriwal have miserably failed outside Delhi. AAP couldn’t gain in other states. Delhi is a national capital which has more educated and highly qualified voters which could have worked for AAP. Whereas for JP and Lok Satta, fighting against conventional political parties and the huge money and muscle power, caste equations in a state like Andhra Pradesh is a herculean task. On ground, there could be several other reasons for failure of Lok Satta. Also, there are several factors which helped Kejriwal and AAP to cement position in Delhi. The void created by Congress is filled by AAP.

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