Boost for positive AAP, BJP snubbed

Boost for positive AAP, BJP snubbed

The reasons for and the meaning of the spectacular and unprecedented victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi elections will be analysed in detail in the days to come.

But at the simplest and most basic level, it was a rejection by the people of a vitiated and cynical politics practised by the established parties and acceptance of an alternative suffused with a vision untainted by the past. The BJP had once claimed to be the party with a difference.

It showed itself as not different from others but perhaps even more dangerous. The people of Delhi have now gone in for a party which is totally different in its aims, style and ways, and offers hope which other parties had successively offered and belied.

The victory is an affirmation of the positive agenda it presented to the people and a rejection of the negative planks and campaign styles which marked the BJP’s electoral position and strategies.

The BJP’s winning streak that started with the Lok Sabha elections and ran through state Assembly elections later, has been stopped in Delhi. The massive verdict in favour of the AAP was also a disapproval of the record of the Narendra Modi government which failed to deliver on its election promises.

It was a disapproval also of the attempts made by the elements in the ruling dispensation to create social disharmony and unrest, on which the prime minister and the party leadership were guilty of silence. It should be noted that the endorsement of the AAP was across class, religion, community, caste and all social divides.

It resulted in the BJP, which had majority in about 60 Assembly segments in the Lok Sabha elections, being reduced to taking just three seats nine months later.

Mistakes in strategy like the projection of Kiran Bedi as the chief ministerial candidate added to an arrogant and supercilious attitude which took the people, and even the workers and supporters of the party, for granted. The low level of the BJP’s campaign also alienated most voters from the party.

The AAP has offered an alternative to both the BJP and the Congress. The latter, which has suffered from a lack of leadership and of a revival plan after successive defeats, has been wiped out.

The memory of Arvind Kejriwal’s 49-day government in Delhi last year, in fact, only raised his credibility. He and the party related to the people directly, spoke their language and promised to deliver the most basic needs of life and a governance free of corruption and deceit. The appeal cut through the shows of money and muscle power, and the people believed the party and the leader.

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