The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) might have managed to strike a chord with the masses from across the country thanks to its pro-people policies. However, it’s the same policies that are affecting the nascent party in generating funds from Gujarat especially from its deep pocket businessmen.
Industries in Gujarat have always been against subsidies or giving something for free to the people. “His (Arvind Kejriwal) announcements of giving free water and electricity have not gone down well with all the trade and industrial bodies of the country. This will put unnecessary pressure on the margins of power generating companies. Hence, it cannot sustain for long. He also rolled back the decision of FDI in retail, which was earlier announced by the Congress in Delhi. These factors are not accepted by industries,” said a promoter of broking and NBCF firm.
Businessmen in Gujarat also think on the same line. “Kejriwal seems to act like leftist parties as he wants to give everything for free. And businessmen from Gujarat are totally against funding anyone who talks about giving anything for free or at subsidised rates to public,” said a textile businessman. Contesting for assembly polls and parliamentary elections is a different ball game, said an exporter from Ahmedabad. “The two big parties — Congress and BJP — will be spending crores in the upcoming LS elections. For them funding is not a problem. However, in case of AAP, it would be a tough task to raise that much fund for the general elections,” he added.
On one hand where most of the businessmen are staying away from funding AAP, there are a few who are supporting them. “Sometimes funding also depends on who is contesting. If one of my closed friends is contesting as an AAP candidate, I would support him/her. So, businessmen of the state will wait and watch how AAP performs in Delhi till the code of conduct is imposed. Till then we will have a clear picture about who will contest for AAP from Gujarat,” said a real estate broker.
Wholesale traders too have shown their confidence in the AAP.
“Rolling back FDI in retail is good for us. Even BJP has a similar view, but Modi is known for supporting industries and foreign funding. What if Modi changes his view after becoming the prime minister? So, it is too early to comment whether to fund AAP or not, but as a trader and common man, Kejriwal’s policies are benefiting me,” said a city-based trader.