Aamaadmiparty.org – A civil society movement was born in April 2011, in the backdrop of large ticket corruption scandals that came to light during the UPA regime headed by Congress. A group of activists from a variety of backgrounds had come together to demand the adoption of the Jan Lokpal Bill – a law that has been stuck for decades in parliamentary committees.
With public outrage against corruption building up with every expose that came from the news media, the call for a strong law that could deal with a corrupt political system found widespread support among ordinary Indians. Under India’s banner Against Corruption, Indians rose to oppose the government today and immediately demanded the passage of Jan Lokpal.
Over two years , hundreds of towns, villages and cities have been mobilized for this cause. Protest marches, political gheraos, social media campaigns – a revolution had started. Under the leadership of social activist Anna Hazare, thousands of people sat on fasts at different locations in three different places to build support for the Jan Lokpal Bill. The Parliament had not yet come to pass the Jan Lokpal at the end of the third and final fast, despite all the IAC’s efforts.
The government’s inability to adhere to the demands of the people stemmed from the deeply rooted corruption that had decayed the political system of India. A Jan Lokpal was strongly harmful to the interests of the party and its members. That’s when one section of IAC activists, led by Arvind Kejriwal, decided that joining politics, entering government and cleaning up the system from within were the only way to rid this country of corruption. The journey of anti-corruption agitation toward the political opposition, called the Aam Aadmi Party, thus began.
Birth of a Political Revolution 2012
The AAP ‘s birth on 2nd October 2012 was a landmark moment in the political history of India. It immediately opened the doors to ordinary people, who had watched the fall from the side-lines of the country’s politics and governance, to become part of a faction. There were no entry barriers that had led to traditional political outfits becoming fiefdoms of the family or community organizations.
The women and men of this new party were all welcome to be Aam aurats and Aam aadmis, old and young, poor and wealthy. The AAP has pioneered India’s crowd-sourced fundraising platform, with the party beginning with small donations. The AAP made its grand entrance with the promise to end corruption from the system and put forward a model of alternative politics.
The first election AAP decided to contest was the December 2013 Delhi Assembly election.
Bijli Paani Andolan 2013
The first problem the AAP raised in Delhi in the run-up to the elections to the Assembly was fraudulently inflated electricity prices and water bills. An agitation was launched by the AAP against the ruling Congress government, its collusion with power distribution firms and the water tanker mafia. Arvind Kejriwal began speeding up pressure on the Sheila Dikshit government from 23 March onwards.
At the same time the party launched a massive campaign of signatures to organize support for the cause. The 14th day, after Kejriwal delivered the Delhi People more than 10.5 lakh petitions to the then Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, Kejriwal broke his run. This agitation catapulted AAP into a political power capable of taking the ruling political class’s behalf.
AAP’s debut shakes up the political class 2013
The AAP made a stunning debut on the back of a wave of mainstream support by winning 28 (out of 70) seats in the Delhi Assembly. The AAP has been dismissed as a minor actor for mainstream political parties, political analysts and news media, and is one of the biggest political upheavals ever. Not only had AAP reduced the ruling party to only eight of the 43 seats it held in 2008, but Arvind Kejriwal also defeated three-time New Delhi constituency chief minister Sheila Dikshit by a record margin.
The AAP had shaken the political class by contesting elections without the support of large funds and muscle power. It had waged a campaign focused on concerns, shunning traditional caste and religious politics. After consultations with the Delhi people on the formation of government, the party formed a minority government with Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister on 28 December 2013.
Lok Sabha elections 2014
In February 2014, the AAP Government resigned to a new and uncompromising mandate, after failing to adopt the Jan Lokpal Bill due to a lack of numbers at the Delhi Assembly. However, the Lok Sabha elections were scheduled for April and May 2014, before the re-election could be held in Delhi. AAP challenged over 400 seats, winning 4 seats – all from Punjab province. Although the result fell short of the party’s hopes, it was a good debut in Punjab, the second state after Delhi where AAP won.
A Landslide Victory in Delhi 2015
Following the loss of all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the AAP was soon back on its feet, launching a campaign of mass contacts to demand polls in Delhi. The party has taken to the people of Delhi the accomplishments of its 49-day administration, promising to end corruption once again if it is re-elected.
This time, the clarion call from the party was “Paanch Saal Kejriwal” – promising to complete its tenure by the Kejriwal-led AAP Government. The 2014-15 winter saw the birth of the ‘Mufflerman,’ a nickname for Delhi’s muffler-clad anti-corruption crusader.
Following the loss of all seven Lok Sabha seats at the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, the AAP was soon back on its feet, launching a mass communication drive to demand polls in Delhi. The party has taken the accomplishments of its 49-day administration to the people of Delhi, promising once again to end corruption if it is re-elected. This time, the party’s clarion call was “Paanch Saal Kejriwal”-promising the Kejriwal-led AAP government to complete its tenure. During the winter of 2014-2015, the ‘Mufflerman’ was born, the so-called ‘muffler’ crusader Delhi.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which is born of an effective anti-corruption campaign, has the highest probity. People have been tired of our politics’ status quo, nepotistic, dynastic, patriarchal, criminal and communal culture, and the advent of AAP has been a breath of fresh air in that context. There are many reasons why the Aam Aadmi Party is special and synonymous with India’s notion of fair and alternative politics:
The Anti-Corruption Crusader
As a political heir to the anti-corruption campaign in 2011, the determination to eliminate corruption from politics and government is an important part of the ideals of the party and its raison demister. The party will not under any circumstances compromise its position on the corruption issue. The AAP is the only political party that clearly adopts the anti-corruption platform, actively tries to live by it and wears it as an honorary badge – even as its leaders and volunteers face increasing political intimidation and serious personal risk.
After winning a landslide majority in the 2015 Delhi elections, the AAP government took on dangerous and influential individuals and companies to protect people’s rights and defeated multiple Delhi-run mafia – water tanker mafia, contractor mafia, power mafia, private school / college mafia, and so on. A 2017 Central Vigilance Commission report noted that allegations related to corruption against those in the Delhi government had dropped by 81 per cent.
Transparent Electoral Funding
Since its creation in 2012, the Aam Aadmi Party has set the benchmark for transparency and probity in India’s political financing. AAP is the only group to reveal to the Election Commission and Income Tax Department the identity of every single donor, despite being required by law to declare the identities of only those donors who contribute more than Rs 2,000. AAP collects 92 percent of its funds from known sources through cheques and electronic transfers. The 8% funds received in small cash donations are deposited into banks and accounted for in full.
Belief in Secular Ideals and Social Justice:
AAP stands for preserving the ancient composite culture of India, and the stably secular and liberal ideals of modern India. The party rejects majoritarianism in all forms and strongly believes in the Indian Constitution. It also rejects appeasement policies and ‘vote bank’ policies. Each Indian person is equal before the State. Wherever injustice exists and populations are disadvantaged, the party claims any attempt to establish a fair playing field will be made. Those who have less in existence need more regulations.
Commitment to Pro-People Governance:
AAP’s governance record in Delhi speaks for the party’s pro-people agenda – providing water-free lifeline, establishing a internationally acclaimed and India’s first three-tier model of universal healthcare in towns, dramatically reforming schooling in government colleges, increasing minimum salaries to the highest in the world, among many others. Accounted interests have never or will never push the party’s agenda at any stage.
Rejection of VIP culture:
AAP is India’s first political party to condemn elected representatives and government ministers’ use of red light vehicles. In 2013, Arvind Kejriwal became the first Cabinet Chief Minister to prevent the use of its official vehicles with red light. This has set the stage for many political leaders and parties ever since to suit.
Around 10 am both Delhi ministers will be completely accessible to the public. And the 11 o’clock in. Without an appointment at their official house every morning from Monday to Friday.
Strict Rules Against Dynastic Politics:
AAP’s Constitution prohibits two members of the same family from contesting elections or from holding a position on the party’s executive body. AAP argues that party dynasties have for decades monopolized whole parties and legislatures, undermining the egalitarian dream of our country’s founding fathers.
The Aam Aadmi Party organizational framework consists of 5 tiers and sub-divisions as described below:
- Primary Level:
- Primary Unit.
- Block Level:
- Block Council.
- District Level:
- District Council.
- District Executive.
- District Political Affairs Committee.
- State Level:
- State Council.
- State Executive.
- State Political Affairs Committee.
- National Level
- National Council.
- National Executive.
National Political Affairs Committee:
The region of a primary unit shall be specified according to the section below in clause A of the primary level. A Block Unit and District Unit area shall typically be the same as an Administrative Area or District unit within a Government.
The territory of the Party’s state units shall correspond to the States and territories of the Union referred to in the Indian Constitution. Read below for information on the composition, purposes and roles of the different Party organization subdivisions.
With the broom symbolizing the dignity of labour, the party is hoping to cleanse the filth that has permeated our government and legislature. The country needs a clean sweeping of its corrupt mainstream parties.
Arvind Kejriwal from the Valmiki Complex in New Delhi formally unveiled the AAP broom on 3rd August 2013. The residential community is lined by thousands of sweepers employed for the Municipal Council of New Delhi (NDMC). While addressing the launch crowd, Kejriwal said, “We’re launching our journey from this holy ground and I’m optimistic we’ll be able to cleanse society with this broom. With that, the nation’s cleansing and its policies have begun.”
The broom is not only a symbol of party volunteers and supporters’ victory, but also a symbol of the Party’s central commitment to rid the system from corruption, communalism, criminalisation, and other political evils. This broom is one of the most widely known symbols of any party in the world and has found its place in the mind of the people.
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