Aam Aadmi Party or AAP (English translation: Common Man's Party) is an Indian Political Party formed on 26th November 2012 and is currently the ruling party in Delhi. The recently formed party has also spread its influence in Goa and Punjab and wishes to run for elections where the party is trying to create their own vote base. The party was founded after the anti-corruption movement and the founders of the party were part of the India Against Corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. The party was formed with the main view to clean politics as well as to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill which had the provisions for investigation and trial in the corruption cases. Arvind Kejriwal became the head of the party and launched AAP on 26th November and they got the Election Commission recognition in March 2013.
The party requested and was allotted the symbol of 'Broom' and the party wanted the broom as their symbol as their agenda of forming the party was 'to clean up the political set up' of the country. The other reason why broom was selected as their symbol as it symbolizes dignity of labour, the party's official website claims that "the party hopes to clean the filth which has permeated our government and our legislature. The country needs a clean sweep of its corrupted main stream political parties". The party was formed with the ideology of equality and justice that forms a part of the Indian Constitution. The party believes in empowering the common man and increasing their participation in the democracy. The party also believes in the Gandhian concept of Swaraj and that the Swaraj Government will be directly accountable to the people rather than the officials. The Swaraj model lays stress on self-governance, community building and decentralization.
The party made its electoral debut in the 2013 Delhi Legislative Elections and the party contested on all the 70 seats. After the election results were declared, AAP became the second largest party and acquired 28 of the 70 seats. No party was able to gain a majority in the election and AAP was invited to form a minority government after receiving a conditional support from the Indian National Congress. AAP's first important agenda after coming to power was the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill. The lack of majority however deferred the same and the party's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal resigned after the small tenure of 49 days in protest. The party then contested the 2014 General Elections and 434 Candidates in the general elections. However the party failed miserably and was able to gain only 4 seats - all in Punjab. The party wasn't even able to gain a single seat in Delhi. However, in the 2015 Delhi Assembly Elections, held just months after BJP won in the country, AAP created history by winning 67 out of the 70 seats. Among the two national political parties, BJP and Indian National Congress, BJP won 3 seats whereas Congress did not win any seat. The party gained 53.4% of votes and this led to an end in the President's Rule in the national capital and Arvind Kejriwal took the oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the second time on 14th February 2015 along with six cabinet ministers that included Manish Sisodia, Asim Ahmed Khan, Sandeep Kumar, Satyendra Jain, Gopal Rai and Jitender Singh Tomar. After coming to power in New Delhi, the party reduced electricity bills for up to 400 units by way of subsidy. It also provided free water to households with a water meter (up to 20 kilolitres). The Kejriwal Government also scrapped the much-debated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-retail. Sticking to its core vision, the AAP set up an anti-corruption helpline for citizens to report on corrupt government officials.
However, the party also has been one of the most controversial parties. Two of the founding members of the party Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan left the party and accused the party leader, Arvind Kejriwal of not considering anyone equal in the party. After the 2015 elections, eight out of the 67 active MLA's have been arrested for the cases related to forgery, extortion, rioting, criminal intimidation, corruption, attempted murder, etc. The more famous arrests include that of Jitender Singh Tomar who was the Law Minister of Delhi and the member of AAP. He was arrested on 9th June 2015 after the complaints that his degree certificates were forged. Another MLA, Surinder Singh was arrested after assaulting an NDMC worker. Mahendra Yadav was arrested for rioting and violent child sex abuse issues. MLA Sandeep Kumar was removed after Arvind Kejriwal received a sex CD showing Sandeep in a compromising position with a women.
Despite all the controversies, the party is still considered as one of the most popular party in the Indian politics and the party is said to be a major player in the upcoming Goa and Punjab Legislative Elections.