The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been creating quite a buzz in the political circuit since its inception. However, the more recent developments in the party have more or less earned it nothing but negative publicity. Case in point, the party’s purported male bias which is earning it the name of “Khap Panchaya”’ among its own female members.
To shed this image, the AAP has come up with a women’s wing called “Aap Ki Mahila Shakti,” which was launched on party leader Santosh Kohli’s first death anniversary. The new wing would be dedicated to women and would encourage them to enter mainstream politics. However, many wonder as to how this would change the mindsets of the AAP’s top rung of male leaders.
Bandana Kumari who is AAP’s MLA in Shalimar Bagh would head the Delhi unit of the new wing. Additional units would be set up in all the other districts in Delhi. A committee for the same would be set up in the 70 segments of the capital as well.
AAP had previously promised equal participation in the party for women members. However, during the elections, the party went back on its word, a move that led to the several prominent facts like Madhu Bhaduri, Shazia Ilmi, etc. exiting it. Shazia Ilmi who resigned from the AAP in May had declared that there was no space for women in the party’s top rungs, dominated by a few male members.
While the AAP’s popularity steadily increased in Delhi during the run-up to the Assembly elections, the various controversies encountered by the party forced many of its members to resign. After forming the government in Delhi, the AAP made its first mistake by supporting former minister and AAP member Somanth Bharti who ordered a midnight raid against Ugandan women living in New Delhi’s Kirki extension. This was followed by Kumar Vishwa’s infamous comment “Kaali peeli nurses from Kerala,” which went viral on social media and degraded the party’s reputation in the eyes of its female followers.
The AAP’s initiative to create a new wing for women is appreciable. However, only time will tell how effective the newly formed “Aap Ki Mahila Shakti” wing of the AAP would be and how much power it would have in the decision making process of the party.
In the midst of rumors about it being a male dominated party, the AAP has launched a new wing called Aap Ki Mahila Shakti dedicated to women. The new wing would encourage more women to enter mainstream politics. However, the true effectiveness and power of this new wing would come into the light only after some time.