Sunday, February 23, 2020

What to make of Kejriwal’s win in Delhi?

The victory of Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi despite the political atmosphere hugely weighing in on big political issues such as CAA, NRC, Shaheen Bagh, Jamia shooting, Pakistan etc has shown that the Indian voter prefers actual development over menial talk of development and wants to hear about Indian and furthermore local issues rather than that of Pakistan. BJP Delhi State President and its Chief Ministerial face in the Delhi Assembly Election Manoj Tiwari’s claim that BJP would come out victorious with 48 seats did jolt the AAP members as to what the election outcome may be despite all Exit Polls leaning in their favour.

Till the last moment, Manoj Tiwari’s confidence in BJP kept analysts on their toes as to whether the dice could really roll in BJP’s favour despite all arrows pointing the other way. Congress remained non-existent in voter’s mind and this worked in the favour of Aam Aadmi Party. When Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah as well as the entire cabinet seemed to be campaigning for BJP in Delhi, it seemed as if for the first time, the fight wasn’t between two CM candidates, but between a leader of National Standing who talked about the grand schemes for the nation with a local leader who held nothing but a report card of his past five years as his promise for the future. As such, Congress’s disappearance from the Delhi elections paradoxically ended up strengthening the opposition by letting Aam Aadmi Party sweep the polls.

But one cannot ignore the fact that BJP has a long-term experience of being in the opposition and being a political minority that gained the confidence of people over the years to finally come in power. While anti-incumbency is not something that Aam Aadmi Party has to worry about for at least the next five years, BJP’s growth from three seats in the last Assembly elections to eight seats in the current election does show that AAP’s focus on Delhi’s common man’s issues should not keep it from considering grander national issues as well. There’s an undercurrent going on with people wanting Aam Aadmi Party to make its way to other states and Union Territories as well, however, it proved counter-productive when the attempt was last made in Punjab. With AAP’s victory, while a chunk of the Jammu’s population is also busy congratulating Kejriwal, a tweet wherein he supported BJP’s decision on Art 370 in the Parliament is still being circulated on social media showcasing that Kashmir is still far away from accepting any new political face, no matter how different they may seem from the mainstream.

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