Pankaj Gupta, one of the most senior members of AAP represents the party in Chandni Chowk constituency for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. As a part of the core team and national secretary of AAP, Pankaj has handled all the backend jobs very admirably. Pankaj has been a part of the Anti-Corruption movement since last 2 decades when Arvind Kejriwal started the campaign with his NGO Parivartan. Back in 2000, Pankaj and others were busy in educating people about filing their income tax refunds and appealing them to avoid paying bribe to government officials. When Anna Hazare led the India Against Corruption movement (IAC) in 2011, Pankaj was there and witnessed the ups and downs as part of the IAC team. Later when AAP was formed, he decided to join the party by quitting from his 25 years of successful career as a software consultant.
Pankaj was addressed as Gandhi by his batch-mates in college. This was mainly because he always used to stick to his principles. His Gandhian values are still alive. He always wondered about the cause of rampant corruption in the country and thought of stopping it but did not exactly know how to achieve this goal. Pankaj always believed that change is not possible without political interventions. Anna movement against corruption started at the right moment for Pankaj. There was a desire in his heart and requirement in the country to change India through politics. Everything aligned in place and Pankaj joined politics.
Management of AAP Organization
After AAP came into existence, Pankaj began managing backend jobs of the party including the management of people’s activities and data, organizational development, supervision of party functioning across the country, interaction with election commission and other constitutional bodies, and generation of funds. AAP was the first political organization that created a system ensuring that a political party gets more than 95% of its funds through banking channels. AAP is proud to be the only political party in India which has done so and runs on public funded money.
First Electoral Fight
For the first time, Pankaj is an electoral candidate in the Parliamentary elections. Reaching out to the last person in the constituency, conveying AAP messages, and answering their questions is a completely different experience than working in the background. At present, Pankaj has the responsibility to win in a constituency rather than manage the whole party at a national level.
Chandni Chowk is a part of Old Delhi with various attractions and industries. All kinds of population including labour class and businessmen reside in the constituency. This constituency has 10 Vidhan Sabhas which are all represented by AAP MLAs. Pankaj is thankful to all sitting MLAs for their immense support and ground work.
Promises Vs Achievements
There was a Modi wave in 2014 and people came in his support by voting massively in his support. 2019 elections will be different as many people are feeling that promises made during elections are still unfulfilled and many policies are poorly designed and partially implemented. On the other hand, Delhi government is fulfilling all of their election promises with whatever limited power they have. Health, education, and water initiatives of Delhi government are being talked about worldwide. AAP has gone one step further beyond politics when it comes to governance by welcoming government representatives from other states to learn from AAP’s projects/initiatives. AAP has the shown the way to bring about a change in the country.
False propaganda is huge in India. An individual simply cannot scale-up the propaganda to the current level without help from a professionally-trained and dedicated team. AAP has always been a victim of negative propaganda from various political parties. It is challenging for AAP to counter false allegations as it is completely dependent on volunteers. AAP is fortunate to have several selfless volunteers across the World who are doing their best to propagate positive things about AAP with their limited resources and time. AAP is the only party to have overseas volunteers who went to India from different parts of the World to campaign in elections.
Many people have a question that why they should vote for AAP when it is not going to form a government and doesn’t have a PM candidate. To answer this question, the entire process of AAP contesting in elections is to strengthen local representation. E.g., people in the states of Tamilnadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana, Kerala or other states where regional parties have a good hold, vote for only local representation. In Delhi too, people should vote for local representation as elected regional candidates will bring up relevant issues in the parliament. If MPs from Delhi had raised state issues in the parliament, Delhi would have not gone through such harsh conditions where most of its departments are now paralyzed. Having said that, if there were MPs from AAP in the parliament, achievements of the government would have increased manifold.
Multiple Authorities in Delhi
At present, AAP government is facing a lot of challenges as their policies are not backed by present MPs even if they are beneficial for the state. Present BJP MP failed to bring revolutionary policies for the welfare of people in Delhi. Currently, there are three parallel governments running in one geographical area, 1) central government, 2) state government, and 3) municipal government. Each of them have a different governing structure and control but only state government’s (i.e. AAP) achievements are being discussed. So, if there was AAP representation in the parliament, things would have been different. It would have provided more power to the state government to work in a synchronized manner.
In order to bring the issues of Delhi in the parliament and design developmental policies, AAP is contesting from all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. AAP leaders have been demanding full statehood status for Delhi for years which other parties have also done in the past. Full statehood status will give more power to the state government where it will have independence on bureaucracy, police, law & order, land, and execution of new projects. Pankaj Gupta will be AAP candidate from Chandni Chowk constituency who is continuously campaigning for full statehood status along with ten MLAs from the constituency.
Whether it is the residents of his constituency or his family members, everyone is standing by Pankaj in his fight against corruption and demand for full statehood in Delhi. We need experienced individuals with no criminal record in parliament. Pankaj, the Gandhian, has held his ground for more than 25 years in the corporate sector and 6 years in AAP. His steadfast loyalty to his morals and actions in the foremost benefit of the country can prove to be an important factor in uplifting India to higher levels.