Is AAP really a left wing party ?


I think one of the biggest mistake a lot of political enthusiast make is to fall prey to confirmation bias. They claim that their party/leader represents something just because they themselves believe in that cause. For example a lot of Modi fanboys think that Modi believes in free markets while in reality there is no such evidence to that claim. Yes, Modi does seem to advocate “small government” but he has also turned his back in past number of times.

Same is the case with AAP. While extremists in BJP like Dr. Swamy call AAP naxalites, AAP fanboys claim that AAP is business friendly. PoliticalDiscourse has a quick fact check on either of the claims.

Premise 1

Left wing economics is bad for economy. Leftist ideology which pursues “equality of outcomes” as a virtue with government interference as a method leads to poverty, scarcity of resources and corruption.

Premise 2

Leftist is defined as a person claiming to be communist or socialist or has affiliation with parties organizations with communist or socialist ideologies OR against individual rights and demanding state intervention to solve problems in any area.

Statement

Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Adami Party is a leftist party and as per Premise 1 above it is bad for economy.

Proof

1. People

Let us see if people in Aam Adami Party are prominent leftist ideologues. Taken from AAP’s website.

  1. Arvind Kejriwal -> Ideology not known
  2. Manish Sisodia -> Idelogy not known
  3. Gopal Rai -> Radical Left (He was a Member of AISA)
  4. Prashant Bhushan -> He has advocated socialism as a policy. Safe to say he is leftist.
  5. SANJAY SINGH – > Unknown
  6. PANKAJ GUPTA -> Not known
  7. NAVEEN JAIHIND -> Not known
  8. DINESH WAGHELA -> Not Known
  9. YOGENDRA YADAV -> Well known leftist. Person behind the right to education act. Member of Sonia Gandhi’s NAC and former advisor to Rahul Gandhi.
  10. PROFESSOR AJIT JHA -> Lead socialist movements hence leftist.
  11. CHRISTINA SAMY -> Not Known
  12. Professor Anand Kumar -> JNU prof. hence unless contrary evidence available would call him Marxist.
  13. ILLIAS AZMI -> He has supported article criminalizing homosexuality.
  14. Mayank Gandhi -> Has advocated free market on several occasions hence would put him as rightist.
    Other members of executive body => ideological affiliation not known.

2. Manifesto

Mohalla Sabhas

AAP has advocated this new method of governance (legality of which is not known) where groups in different localities get power to make decisions related to governance. This is basically same as treating groups as unit of state policy v/s individual as unit of state policy. This is very much a communist model of policy making.
Verdict: Left

Electricity Prices

AAP’s claim that they will let people chose between elecricity providers is clearly a market friendly decision:
AAP’s claim to bring DISCOMs under RTI and forced audits and promise to reduce prices before the audit is ultra left decision.
Verdict: Mixed

Free WaterAAP opposes the privatisation of the Delhi Jal Board and is committed to the public provision of water to all citizens.
Verdict: Left

Education
A law would be introduced to regulate high fees and donations in private schools and colleges. No talk of letting private player play a major role in education.
Verdict: Left

Delhi’s Villages
Power to Gram sabha to make decisions with respect to land acquisitions is a pro-left decision.
Verdict: left

Unauthorised ColoniesTalking of regularizing unauthorized homes is actually a type of corruption.

Other Economics PoliciesVerdict: Left
AAP advocates minimum vages, regulating contract based work, more public participation in transportation. This is a clear indication of left centric policies.

3. Conclusion

While AAP has not really used the words “communism” or “socialism” AAP is clearly not a market friendly party. It is more of a “big government” party believing that groups of well intentioned people can make decisions for the rest of the junta. Mohalla Sabhas and stricter regulation are two frequently used terms in AAP’s manifesto. Which is also an indication of AAP’s left leaning.

While AAP does not seem to have any clearer economic vision, there is not evidence that AAP in reality has any Naxalite tendencies as alleged by BJP and others. This appears to be more of a lack of understanding of economic issues or over simplification of economic problems.

In my opinion AAP is a leftist party at the moment but there is a good hope that it can change in recent future because it does not seem to be controlled by leftist ideologues.

 

 

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