"The party is also planning a national convention where AAP's post-poll strategy will be discussed."
By Gaurav Sharma

New Delhi, May 16 - Four seats in its debut parliamentary elections is surely a good beginning for the fledgling AAP, but not winning a single seat on its home turf Delhi has disappointed the party. Out of some 440 candidates for the Lok Sabha, the party ended up with four seats in Punjab where it had expected to do well.

Although the party did not come across as ambitious in predicting its seat tally, losing all seven seats in Delhi has come as a rude shock to the AAP which had put up a spectacular show in the assembly elections here.

The party won 28 seats in Delhi and went on to form the government with the outside support of the Congress.

The defeat in Delhi does not augur well for the Aam Aadmi Party which faces assembly elections here. However, the party came second in all the seven seats.

The party will also contest the Haryana and Maharashtra assembly polls.

Indeed the result is disappointing in Delhi. But look at Punjab. We can always bounce back in Delhi, an AAP leader told IANS, not wishing to be identified.

AAP leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who himself lost badly to BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi, has described the results in Delhi as disappointing.

But you have to give it to us as we came second in all the seven seats, added a party leader.

While many AAP candidates -- including better known faces Yogendra Yadav (Gurgaon) and Shazia Ilmi (Ghaziabad) -- lost their security deposit, the party fared badly in Maharashtra too.

Exit polls had predicted at least one seat for the AAP from Maharashtra. But none of its candidates finished even second in the six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai where there were high hopes on Medha Patkar and Mayank Gandhi.

Bangalore turned out to be another disappointment for the AAP. The party had hoped to make a mark in Karnataka.

What seems to have gone against the AAP is Kejriwal's sudden resignation as the chief minister of Delhi which was painted by the opposition as the party running away from its governmental responsibilities.

We have to do long-term politics. Seats don't matter much, said an AAP functionary.

But AAP leader Manish Sisodia had admitted to IANS earlier that Kejriwal's resignation did dent the party's chances in the Lok Sabha polls.

Yogendra Yadav said: We will learn from the mistakes. We committed a mistake in taking the decision of quitting the government in a hurry. We will introspect on it.

It would be interesting to see whether the AAP will bounce back in the Delhi assembly polls which will be conducted in a few months from now.

After coming to power at the centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party is unlikely to delay the Delhi polls.

AAP leaders have blamed several factors for the poor showing in the Lok Sabha election.

One of this has been the lack of finances, more so when the BJP spent in crores.

Party sources have said a new line of leadership will be brought into the AAP from around the country.

Besides, new faces are expected in the nine-member Political Affairs Committee which is the highest decision making body in the party.

The party is also planning a national convention where AAP's post-poll strategy will be discussed.

(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])


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