Politicians, Business Leaders Send Out Mixed Reactions on AAP’s Prospects

Besides angel investors, a startup company needs encouragement to walk on its path of progress.  The story is similar for the latest entrant in the Indian political landscape – Aam Admi Party. The party and its founder Arvind Kejriwal is getting to hear encouraging words from the political quarters. As AAP took charge of governance in Delhi, the political and corporate stalwarts didn’t shy away from expressing their confidence in the party’s prospects.

In a rare specimen of political opponents burying their differences and praising their rivals upfront, some Congress party leaders extended best wishes and support to the activist-turned politician as he took on new responsibilities.  Senior party leader Digvijay Singh opined that the success of AAP is a “good indication” and he went on to describe it as a “turning point in Indian politics.”

Other congressmen held themselves back a little while congratulating Kejriwal. They took to twitter to keep their messages brief.  Navin Jindal and Milind Deora were among the first to follow suit. However, this thread of congratulations was initiated by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he dialled Kejriwal on his first day as Chief Minister.

BJP was not to be left behind. The party president Rajnath Singh expressed hope that the AAP-Congress combination in Delhi would provide a stable government and live up to the expectations of the people. Another BJP stalwart Sushma Swaraj also congratulated Kejriwal on his meteoric rise to the position of Chief Minister.

On the corporate front, the leaders of India Inc. kept their fingers crossed with an earnest hope that the new government turns out to be industry-friendly. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) issued a statement suggesting that AAP would be able to strengthen Delhi’s economic position ad make the capital a preferred destination for investors.

Majority of corporate honchos praised AAP’s determination and its ascendancy with some of them expressing concern over Kejriwal’s ‘socialist’ agenda. While the industrialist Vijay Mallya called AAP’s rise as a defining moment in Indian democracy, Anand Mahindra considered this change in power as “a brave experiment” and called for suspending cynicism.

Both Rahul Bajaj and Harsh Goenka were tad sceptic in their comments. The former said that the party must be given some time although “the goals in their manifesto seem unrealistic.”  The latter seemed concerned over the “utopian” nature of Kejriwal’s election promises, which is a direct reference to his promise of supplying 700 litres of free water and reducing power tariffs. Chairman of Dabur India refuses to put faith in AAP as the party has not been tested before.

Some of the business leaders are of the opinion that AAP-led government needs a good economist to advise them on financial implications of their promises. In a rather friendly word of caution, they seem to tell that AAP’s agenda is too ambitious and the party is likely to suffer if they fail to implement their promises.  The question that is bugging the entire business fraternity is whether Kejriwal has promised much more than what he can deliver?