stattesman news service
BANGALORE, 14 DEC: The success of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi elections has excited its supporters and followers in Karnataka where AAP members are active in almost 20 districts and cities, including the IT capital.
More so, as several Bangaloreans had apparently been working for the party behind the scenes during the elections in the national capital.
While the party may not have a major following, the crusade under ‘India Against Corruption’ earlier did draw a huge response in general especially with Anna Hazare making a deep impact on the people. Considering that the then ruling BJP had become synonymous with corruption in the state, most supporters and followers of Mr Hazare had hoped that the octogenarian leader would jump into the political fray .
Instead when his protege, Mr Arvind Kejriwal, decided to form the AAP it did not take long for people here to identify with him and his ideals. Their faith now appears to have been rekindled after the party’s impressive performance and the demand for it to contest the Lok Sabha polls is only getting shriller.
This, notwithstanding the fact that most AAP supporters believe that it may not be an easy sailing considering that the AAP would have to contend with a powerful and aggressive BJP under Mr Narendra Modi, the Congress and the JDS, to boot..
Nevertheless, hopes have been kindled and activists like Mr S R Hiremath ~ credited with exposing illegal mining in the state ~ have been approached by the AAP to possibly head its Karnataka unit, more so as he is a founding member of the party. It was his persistent probing that also forced Chief Minister Siddaramiah to drop controversial mining baron and senior minister Mr Santosh Lad from his Cabinet.
Mr Hiremath (69) himself is not very keen to lead the AAP unit arguing that age may not be on his side.
Yet, he is confident that there are enough good people who can help the party make a mark in the state during the 2014 elections. Besides, a large number of people who had supported the IAC movement are not averse to getting involved with the AAP.
This apart, the role played by the Bangalore-Civic Leadership Incubator programme (BClip), launched by corporate bigwigs like Ms Kiron Majumdar of Biocon and Mr Mohan Das Pai, erstwhile Infosys HRD chief, is also set to play a major hand in ensuring that the Parliamentary elections in the state this time should be fought fairly. At least in terms of the candidates concerned.
No wonder then that BClip has decided to train about 60 applicants who want to be legislators and political leaders. Their education “to possibly become good politicians” has already started. Earlier, the Bangalore Political Action Committee which runs BClip received an overwhelming response for its maiden Civic Leadership Incubator Programme ~ the first of its kind in the city to provide training and exposure in the areas of public policy, municipal administration and campaign finance.
Over 300 applications were received and the team selected 66 for the inaugural batch which will undergo training for three to six months at least. People and political parties who want to train their “cadres" have tried to grab the available opportunity. They would learn the basics of governance not to mention ethics of leadership and issues relating to Centre-state relations and policy matters.
Considering the interest in AAP, most of the applicants were keen to be a part of the new party or be associated with it in some form or the other as was evident from its recent function. The AAP could find the much-needed resource at the BClip in terms of candidates who would have a lot to offer to the people, at least in terms of honesty and assurances of good governance.
The AAP&’s rise is an “important departure” in politics which has challenged the established institutions, eminent economist Amartya Sen said today.
Infosys mentor NR Narayana Murthy also praised Kejriwal and said what he has brought to the table is that if one has a few powerful messages, he can win elections with very little money.
Former Union minister Arun Shourie described AAP’s rise as a “stunning announcement” for political parties that the people are fed up.