Youth for change in old-style politics

Youth for change in old-style politics

Youth for change in old-style politics

The Delhi Assembly election results have come as a shocker for all of us. The Congress has been decimated and the BJP has emerged as the single largest party, tantalisingly close to power but falling short of the crucial four seats that will help it to form the Government. But it is Aam Aadmi Party which has stolen the show by bagging 28 seats in all, silencing its critics and the nay-sayers.

Now, as uncertainty looms over the next Government, Metrolife speaks to Delhiites about the results which question the old-style politics and the empowerment of the common man.

“The results have questioned the idea of the political system which has been into function for the last 60 years,” says Asha Sarangi, professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. “Twenty-eight seats for AAP speaks volumes about the fact that people are looking for structural changes. AAP has not just eaten into the vote and seat share of the Congress but even the Modi effect has also been dented by them,” says Asha.

According to her, political ideologies have been challenged this time. “Though BJP is a winner because of Narendra Modi’s candidature for the Prime Ministerial post, AAP has challenged the political ideologies that have been practised for the last 60 years. Interestingly, AAP does not have an ideology of its own. They have a strong social agenda which focuses on the problems of the people,” says the JNU professor.

But as political scientist Vidhu Verma says, it was the poor governance record of Congress which worked in favour of the BJP and AAP. “People say it was the Modi wave which had a bearing on the election results. But I feel it was a wave against the current party and its governance style which worked in favour of the other players,” says Vidhu.

She credits the young and first-time voters who played a crucial role in the way the Delhi election panned out in the end. She says “First-time voters were a part of everything that happened in Delhi in the last one year. Be it inflation or the Nirbhaya case, young voters were part of the anti-Goverment movement. They were obviously looking for a change.”

Surprisingly, this did not make the youth calculative at the time of voting. “It is very clear that young voters supported AAP a lot. On the other hand, the old populace remained stuck to either the Congress or the BJP. They did not want to ‘waste their vote on AAP’,” says Vidhu, indicating that if there is re-polling in the next six months, those who have voted for BJP or Congress will be probably feel more comfortable about making a choice in favour of AAP now. Since the political scene in Delhi seems to be uncertain at present, many Delhiites believe it is the beginning of a change. “The results are an eye-opener for both the Congress and the BJP,” says Ashutosh Tiwari, teacher in a private university. “People can no more be drawn through caste and identity politics.

They want good governance which the parties need to understand, especially as the general election is slated for next year,” says he. Meanwhile, 25-year-old Akshay Pandey, a software engineer says, “The result is a message to the politicians that their old-style politics cannot continue for long as we are ready to accept new politics that represents the common man.”

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