In a clear hint that the Aam Aadmi Party is going beyond blaming voting machines for the party's crushing defeat in the Delhi civic polls, the AAP's political affairs committee that met on Thursday to analyse the poll debacle concluded that the party "primarily" needed to rebuild its organisational structure.
- AAP's political affairs committee met on Thursday to analyse poll result
- We introspected on various levels. Will try to reinvent: Sanjay Singh
- Unfair to target only AAP over the EVM issue, Mr Singh suggested
AAP's top leader Sanjay Singh said the party's top panel discussed the various reasons for its debilitating defeat and the steps that the party needs to take. The Electronic Voting Machines, that the party has so far insisted was responsible for its heavy losses in Punjab and Delhi, "was also discussed" at the four-hour-long meeting.
The party, which had secured a record 67 out of 70 seats in the 2015 assembly elections, ended up with just about 48 out of the 272-odd seats in the municipal elections. Sources indicated there was a heated discussion on demands that a top leader take moral responsibility for the back-to-back setbacks and make way. But the consensus was to maintain status quo.
"We also introspected on various levels. We will try to reinvent ourselves," he said. He added that the party will work on all levels, structural and booth level to make necessary changes.
Sources told NDTV that the shift in stance doesn't imply that the AAP trusts the election panel's line that the voting machines had not been tampered with. Or that they could not be. But it was felt that blaming the machines for its defeat had not gone down well with people and party cadres.
Also, this assessment could also prove counter-productive as it would prevent the party from carrying out any real introspection. It is a trap that the AAP is determined not to fall into.
But Singh suggested it was unfair to target only the AAP for raising the EVM issue. "Why is only AAP being made fun of?" he asked, asserting that concerns that voting machines had been tampered with during the recent assembly elections was a point that every opposition party had been making.
The party has decided to accept the offer of its Delhi in-charge Dilip Pandey to quit his post, he will be replaced by Delhi minister Gopal Rai. But other resignations including one by Mr Singh, who was the in-charge of Punjab, have been turned down. A call on a change in leadership in Punjab would be later on a later date, after the party completes an exhaustive assessment of the party's cadre strength, beginning with the ward level.