Winning the Delhi elections has always been an issue of prestige for all the national parties. Though, this has mostly been in the kitty of the Grand old party for most of the time, the tide has turned this time around only to accelerate the change that Delhi saw at the end of 2013. And, the mood of the Delhi is said to be the mood of the nation. This result might point to a greater shift of public inclination in the forthcoming assembly elections in other states. With a high voter turnout of 70%, Delhi clearly gave a gigantic win to AAP with 67 out of 70 seats, leaving hardly any seats to form even a decent opposition in the house ( with the saffron party left with a mere 3 seats and The Indian National Congress completely decimated). While AAP supporters broke out into celebrations all over India, both Congress and BJP seemed short of words to cover up their humiliating defeat.
The story would have been completely different if it weren’t for the AAP convener, Arvind Kejriwal, who came into the limelight during Jan Lokpal Andolan led by social activist Anna Hazare in 2011. Claiming to be disappointed by the working of the government in power and existing political parties, he founded the Aam Aadmi Party in November 2012 which resulted in an ideological rift between Hazare and Kejriwal. Kejriwal who though had often been under fire from politicians and businessmen for ‘irresponsibly’ calling anyone and everyone corrupt, rang a bell amongst the masses with his promise of clean governance, public welfare and zero tolerance for corruption. People seemed in no mood to settle for anything less than the best and welcomed this opportunity for change with open arms by entrusting AAP with 28 seats in previous Delhi assembly elections. Kejriwal quit the supreme position of Chief Minister after 49 days blaming Congress and BJP for not allowing it to function, citing lack of clear majority as the sole reason for the same, a decision which many say he took to reach the PM’s post in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections and a decision which he thoroughly regretted and apologized for before the recent elections. The enormity of the people’s mandate surely shows a strong disappointment amongst people with the other two major parties.
The INC which consecutively was in power for last 3 terms in Delhi under Shiela Dikshit has now been left with only 15% vote share and not even a single seat. It has probably been there worst defeat ever since they came into existence. The party is in dire need of introspection of where it failed to deliver and how it failed to win back the confidence of the public which they earlier enjoyed immensely. Falling prey to the anti-incumbency sentiment, inability to reach out to the masses and lack of clear leadership has crippled the Congress which has failed badly at utilizing any of its resources. Though, it is said that political parties never die, yet, if concrete steps are not taken to revive the party, Congress could soon become just a part of our glorious Indian history. While Congress is struggling to barely stay afloat, the condition of BJP could be called just a little better than ‘pathetic’.
The result is a nothing short of a catastrophe for the BJP which was riding on the Modi wave till now. This comes as a blow to the prestige of Modi who had become supposedly the only indisputable choice of the people. Also, it has been a big failure for Kiran Bedi who has had a glorious career and the distinction of being the first woman IPS officer. Whether it was the exponential rise in communal tensions to which the BJP is a mute spectator or the inability to deliver much on poll promises or maybe a simple wrong choice of leaders and candidates in Delhi, BJP is left to ponder over the causes that became its undoing. Evidently, it has also become clear that mere advertisement and talking is not going to divert people’s attention for long and seemingly, statements and acts of BJP’s ideological parent RSS don’t go down well with the secular people in general and the educated and aware people of Delhi, as they are said to be, in particular.
India has become all the more impatient, people are not ready to put up with bad governance anymore and have made it evident that the real power lies with them and political parties need to always be on their toes as the people will no longer bear to be taken for granted. The broom has literally swept away all the opponents, but this should be the beginning of good work and not the end and aim of the whole campaign and AAP knows it too well to risk it again. With great power comes great responsibility. With high hopes pinned on AAP, it can be surely hoped that they live up to them. All said and done, Kejriwal, a simple and intelligent man from humble origins has become the Messiah of so many, this is a massive achievement in its own accord but what it turns out to be in future is for us to see now.