MCD elections 2017: Poll panel's order to hide 'Aam' from public displays is a 'Khas' problem for Kejriwal

Shubham Ghosh
Delhi HC imposes Rs 10,000 fine on Arvind Kejriwal; advices not to ask 'indecent' questions

It has been the catchword of his party, but Arvind Kejriwal is now facing a problem that could put his party's very identity in crisis.

The Delhi state election commission has asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the municipal corporations to remove the word 'Aam' everywhere, since the display is tantamount to violation of the model code of conduct, which is in effect for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections next month.

The panel has sought the removal of the word from all billboards, hoardings, banners, nameplates in Aam Aadmi mohalla clinics and Aam Aadmi Byepass Express Service in the national capital.

More from IBTimes India: Argentina vs Chile schedule: TV guide, time, date and venue of South American FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier

The move came after Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, lodged a complaint with the panel saying such names could a make difference to the voter at the time of casting the ballot. The panel responded to the BJP leader's appeal positively.

No 'Aam' for public display a bad news for Kejriwal's populist government

Now the elimination of the word 'Aam' (general) from public display is not good news for Kejriwal's party for it was on the basis of that very word that it revolutionised Indian politics a few years ago.

More from IBTimes India: 2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo launched at Rs 1.93 crore in India

Kejriwal and his team have certainly come a long way since those formative years and behave more like a Khas Aadmi Party nowadays, but for public consumption, the term 'Aam' is very important.

The Delhi government operates around 150 mohalla clinics in various parts of the city, while the Byepass Bus Service also covers several areas.

These are projects that the AAP will need to project ahead of the polls, but now with the panel's order, the Opposition BJP will feel it has scored a moral victory over AAP's unbending spirit of populism.

More from IBTimes India: Formula One 2017 Australian Grand Prix schedule: TV listings, date, time and venue

Parties like SP and BSP have also faced similar orders in the past, but they had other identities to play on

However, it is not the first time symbols of names of political parties in India have come under the scanner of election authorities.

In UP, the statues of elephants erected by the former Mayawati government or the term 'Samajwadi' written on ambulances run under the former Samajwadi Party health service, were asked to be covered on grounds they breached of the model code of conduct.

However, for parties like BSP and SP, there are still more identities to capitalise on during elections (though both failed this time) but for AAP, still in its nascent stages, such restrictions mean a lot.

Kejriwal now has to think some other way to promote his party's populist image. For, the party has no other political capital to play on.

Robert Vadra, who had once mocked the mango party, would be amused though.

Related Articles