I have been following the IAC movement and then AAP with much interest and I think you have something important going on.
I have promised to speak in support of AAP till the Delhi Elections to help counter the nonsense being unfairly thrown at you by the BJP and Congress, and it has been a fascinating experience thus far.
Wanted to share my concern about efforts to derail the impact of your campaign and I think that Anna Hazare is best left in AAP’s past.
I understand you respect him a lot and I do too, for his strengths, which do not include politics, strategy or accounts. I believe that Anna will become as big a distraction as you let him become and it adds nothing of value to the people whose votes you want to influence with the elections looming. Delhi has moved on from Anna and even when they were paying attention to him, he never was a problem they faced that they needed solved.
There have been questions about IAC funds, which you have answered. Raising them repeatedly does nothing to add value. People who genuinely want to know can google. Or perhaps you can add a button to the AAP website saying “If you’re here to find out what happened to IAC funds, click here”, and they can go to a page with a text statement and a video of you answering (for those who can’t read). To spend your election campaign time on something that keeps coming up without registering previous answers is time taken away from raising issues that will influence your election outcomes.
The questions will keep coming from all directions. Staying on track will only be your headache.
[Tweet “Move forward with purpose, not defensive reactions.”]
This is how the JanLokpal andolan was derailed. One minute all was going well, the next minute you guys were giving interviews and opinions on anything anyone asked. I even remember seeing Anna on a children’s talent show where little girls danced in skimpy clothes under his approving eye. The intensity of the movement died. Just like that.
You can’t afford to get derailed right now. You’ve made promises that you must keep, you’ve raised funds you must show results for.
I would suggest that you keep your personal relationship with Anna personal. If he writes you a letter, no reason why you can’t write back to him instead of carving time out of your TV presence on subjects like inflation, electricity costs, corruption, water and so on.
[Tweet “If Anna writes you a letter, no reason why you can’t write back to him instead of replying on TV”]
BJP/Congress will make a ruckus if you don’t answer, your followers say. Well, BJP can write you a letter and get a reply too, or use their air time to ask you questions officially instead of baiting people into baiting you.
The questions have not changed, nor have your answers, so people can just go and look at previous answers instead of wasting campaign time on repetition.
Frankly, Congress(read) opening their mouth about your funds is only going to result in support for you, so I have no idea why you should even avoid it.
If you have offered to send IAC funds to Anna and he has refused it, he should be asked to take a concrete stand soon, failing which you do something specific with it – final, or it just remains a PR bomb kept hanging on your head deliberately.
Updated: Another thing Anna has to understand that accountability cannot be one way. If his supporters are throwing ink on you, he has no business asking polite replies from you. If that person is not his supporter, Anna should disown him publicly and let the man’s identity remain what he claims himself. A BJP supporter. I fail to see why you must not ask for some responsible behavior in turn and let him be known for his stand – whatever it is.
I know you are a good strategist. I’m a good people watcher who spots patterns, and I see these things that may not be visible from up close. This is a contribution for you to use or leave as you find useful in your leadership of the party.
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