Even though the Aam Aadmi Party failed to win Chandigarh seat in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it managed to make a mark in its maiden attempt by securing 1.08 lakh votes, mostly from a dedicated vote bank of the Congress, according to a study.
Since then, the party has been struggling to maintain its sheen in the City Beautiful. AAP was the first to field its candidate in the city by giving the ticket to former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, who left BJP to join AAP late last year. Last time, AAP had fielded actor Gul Panag, who gave a tough fight to MP Kirron Kher, at a time when the nation was high on the 'Modi wave'.
A study by the Institute of Development and Communication (IDC) post-2014 Lok Sabha polls spoke about the rise of AAP in Chandigarh city. People were asked about how AAP is going to make a difference in Indian politics- positive and negative.
"The answers on the positive side included that it forced other parties to talk about corruption with nearly 33.56 per cent respondents holding this view. Secondly, they believe that it raised the voices and concerns of common man (18.49 per cent). Thirdly, 13.7 per cent respondents hoped of or change by AAP," the study said.
"The negative views about AAP gave different reasons. 22.60 per cent said it is a party of inexperienced. 15.75 per cent consider it ineffective and a failure. 22 per cent said that the party lacks confidence and co-ordination. Lastly, around 49 per cent of the respondents were undecided on the negative views about AAP. AAP got very good response from the electorates of the city. People seemed to be in a hope of a third alternative after giving chance to the Congress and the BJP," it stated.
The survey, during the previous polls, found that AAP fetched 28.37 per cent votes in urban areas of Chandigarh, which is more than the number of votes received by Congress i.e. 25.85 per cent in the city's urban areas. Even in colonies and slum areas, AAP targeted the Congress's vote bank. Chandigarh is considered an urban parliamentary constituency but the votes from rural areas and the slums have been decisive in Chandigarh as they constitute almost 50 per cent of total votes.
AAP dominated in the Kaimbwala village and some areas of ward numbers 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 20, 23 and 26, which are including rural and slum areas. Congress fetched votes from ward numbers- 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26 and Mauli Jagran (C T), which were again adjoining rural and slum areas.