Kejriwal has just dropped Punjab; but AAP is definitely sweeping it

If there was any doubt whatsoever whether AAP will sweep Punjab next year, such doubts have ended with Sidhu joining AAP yesterday. The inevitable AAP sweep got even bigger.

And yet I will openly say that Kejriwal has made a giant mistake. There was absolutely no need for Kejriwal to bring Sidhu in. AAP was winning anyways.

Let me explain. I have always pointed out that there is a fundamental barrier for personality based parties to become national parties. The barrier has nothing to do with the challenges of setting up cadre, vote banks etc across state borders, even though these are extremely difficult tasks on their own. No, the barrier is much more fundamental.

The  fundamental problem is that a party with more than one Chief Minister has, by definition, more than one top leader. This is a situation which no personality based party can tolerate. I am sure Mayawati would be happy to see a BSP government in Madhya Pradesh, but will Mayawati be able to share her supreme control of her party with someone else? Inevitably, a BSP Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh would be a serious internal challenge to Mayawati’s authority. This is why personality based parties never spread outside a single state.

In fact, we can observe this phenomenon clearly when big states are partitioned. Both RJD and JDU were major parties in the whole of Bihar, but as soon as the state was cut in two, RJD and JDU started evaporating from Jharkhand. Finally, as on date, both parties are at BIG ZERO in the Jharkhand Assembly. Why? Because a big RJD face from Jharkhand would challenge the authority of Lalu Yadav. A big JDU face from Jharkhand would challenge the authority of Nitish Kumar. The same phenomenon repeated in Uttarakhand. Neither Mulayam Singh nor Mayawati ever could put up a real fight in the state, despite the fact that it split off from their empire in Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, the Telugu Desam Party is a non-entity in Telangana.

One needs to understand how multi-state parties come into being. There has to be a background network that can override the individual egos of the state leaders. In the BJP, this job is done by the RSS. In the CPI(M), it is the politburo that keeps the discipline. The Congress degenerated into a family based entity long after it had spread to every corner of India. The AAP has appointed Kejriwal as lifetime president and supreme leader already.

As such, Kejriwal would have been better advised to become CM of Punjab himself and hand over Delhi to his wife Sunita. I know he is interested in Goa…maybe he can wait till the Goa polls of 2022 and try to make his daughter Harshita the CM face there. It really is the only way for him: because an AAP CM in Punjab is bound to be a challenge to Kejriwal’s control over the party. For Kejriwal the problems are even worse than they are for someone like Mayawati or Mulayam. Because the state Kejriwal runs is among the smallest in the country. Punjab is a big state, a full state and there is no reason for the Chief Minister of Punjab to see the CM of Delhi as his boss.

As if that was not enough, Kejriwal has made the worst possible move by picking Navjot Singh Sidhu, a man with his own following and popularity. The chances of Sidhu agreeing to be a puppet of Kejriwal are near zero. Why should Sidhu listen to Kejriwal? He will be CM of a bigger state, he has his own base and his own nationwide name recognition. By the way, I think the RW and BJP should hasten the inevitable by taking this line up aggressively.

AAP is now no longer Kejriwal’s party, it is now jointly owned by Kejriwal AND Navjot Singh Sidhu. How does that make Kejriwal feel, I wonder 🙂 🙂   ? 

Ok, Kejriwal hasn’t actually announced Sidhu as Punjab CM candidate yet. But, I really doubt Sidhu would just leave a Rajya Sabha seat unless he had received a clear assurance. In case Kejriwal goes back on his assurance now, there’s gonna be more fun 🙂

23 thoughts on “Kejriwal has just dropped Punjab; but AAP is definitely sweeping it

  1. Did you read @5forty3’s UP analysis part 1?What do you think?Also,he says that he talked to an AAP ground worker in Punjab who said that it could be their Kiran Bedi moment.


  2. Speaking of split states,they need to divide J&K into three states.One being Jammu(Hindu majority),other being Ladakh(Shiites and Buddhists) and Kashmir Valley(Sunnis).And they should consider dividing UP into 4 parts in the future as well.UP is just too large to be governed IMO.I have always believed that it is easier to administrate smaller areas.


    1. I agree that UP should be divided. My brain agrees. My heart doesn’t. Somehow I like big challenges. The whole of UP…one big delicious challenge. It’s more fun this way. It’s like the red coin in a game of carrom 🙂 The red coin spices up the game. Replacing it with white/black coins of smaller denomination reduces the excitement level.


  3. I was a little surprised by AAP making that move, frankly. I get that Sidhu was going after riches (read a potential CM seat) but AAP already had Punjab nailed, even with recent faux pas by its leaders in that state. Picking Sidhu is absolutely the worst possible move and for the exact reasons you stated above – he is nobody’s puppet and has his own brand name nationally. Will be fun to see how it all peters out.


    1. He he…already we see a tug of war beginning. Seems Kejru has not finalized the deal properly with Sidhu. I think Sidhu was offered something big which led to him quitting RS…and now suddenly Kejru is refusing. Sidhu is getting a taste of AAP.


  4. I am actually glad to see Sidhu in AAP. He may be the first sensible leader in AAP. Eventually, his popularity will exceed that of Kejriwal (he is fundamentally a BJP product) and that can be only good for Punjab and Delhi.


  5. I wonder why no one is making the obvious cause and effect connection between Sidhu having been forced to vacate his parliamentary seat for Jhootley, and Sidhu leaving the BJP. Given that Jhootley lost the election (and that too, one in which there was a huge BJP wave and even a donkey could have won on a BJP ticket), and anyway had to fall back on the Rajya Sabha route, in retrospect asking Sidhu to vacate was a huge blunder.

    Can someone explain why the AAP is so hugely popular in Punjab, even after everyone has seen the antics of its “leader”?

    I do agree that if Sidhu becomes the CM of Punjab then he won’t need Crazywal. Did Crazywal miscalculate? Under the pre-Sidhu scenario, he could have yet again run away from Delhi and become the Punjab CM. But now Sidhu as the Punjab CM and Crazywal as his “boss” is simply not sustainable.

    In short, fun times ahead.


    1. There can be no doubt that Sidhu was ill treated by BJP. Apparently Akalis had told AJ that all he needed to do was sign on the dotted line and BJP would win Amritsar. BJP fell for it.

      But now it seems Kejriwal has withdrawn whatever assurance he had given Sidhu before quitting RS seat. LOL! One day outside BJP and Sidhu is already getting a taste of how life works in other parties 🙂

      About AAP in Punjab, let me put forward this hypothesis. I have a feeling that Hindus do not fully understand Sikh mindset. We think we understand, but maybe we don’t. I remember reading somewhere about the differences between Punjab and Haryana. If you remember, AAP had always seen Haryana as its next target, but suddenly it all turned to Punjab. Somehow I think Sikhs have a greater risk appetite and they have decided to give the new guys a chance.


  6. Astute analysis. Worth reading for Political Science class. Navjot Sidhu has bigger name recognition, bigger base in Punjab, but more importantly, he has much bigger ego than Kejriwal. What Sidhu did to BJP, is much bigger than what Kejriwal did to Anna Hazare. And I disagree with many anti-Modi, anti-BJP intellectuals that Sidhu has dealt death blow to BJP.


    1. Let AAP sweep Punjab and let AK fight with Sidhu. Punjab politics needs a churn. Both for the sake of the people and the politics of the state. In current setup, BJP was always going to be nowhere…Akalis had reduced BJP to fighting just 21 seats in the Assembly. Let AAP cause a swirl…BJP can now live to fight again.


  7. Looking at the U Turn Of AK he may Ouster Siddu once he wins the election and He himself will become CM there and hand over Delhi to his wife ..


    1. Ha ha…seems I definitely spoke too soon 🙂 Kejriwal has taken a U-turn on Sidhu… Poor Sidhu was given some assurance before quitting RS and now AK has gone back on his promise. Fun 🙂

      Good lesson for Sidhu though. I admit he was not well treated by BJP. But now he is seeing how things work in other parties 🙂


  8. Agreed, partly. I feel AK is more astute (rather cunning) than Modi. Modi has a certain limitations and is inhibited by it whereas AK is taking full advantage of everything that comes (or goes) in his way. Dont forget AAP model is based on communist party structure (politburo)


    1. AK is a very cunning man without the party structure to boot. He takes full advantage of whatever he gets. No doubt. But having a personality based party is a double edged sword. On one hand, he gets everything his party can get. But it also stops him from growing his party. And India is HUGE.


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