The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has had a phenomenal victory in the Delhi polls beating Prime Minister Modi’s BJP in the crucial battle for the 70 member Delhi Assembly.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, who was once termed as ‘bagoda’ (quitter) by the BJP and the Congress, won by over 31, 000 votes defeating his nearest rival, BJP’s Nupur Sharma in an unprecedented majority of 67 seats, much ahead of the opinion and exit poll surveys and predictions of political analysts. BJP, which won singlehandedly in the national polls came a distant second with just three seats, not even qualifying for the post of the Opposition. Congress, who ruled Delhi for nearly 15 years, failed to grab even a single seat. The historic triumph of the AAP is a huge blow to the hardliners with their saffronising agendas who have been riding high on the so called “Modi wave” towards a string of election victories. Despite an aggressive election campaign by the BJP spending a whopping Rs 200 crore, the decision to make around 300 MPs campaign in the city and pitting Kiran Bedi as their CM candidate, the party has failed to make an impact in the minds of people.
Kejriwal had earlier resigned as the Delhi's chief minister after just 49 days making him a butt of jokes. Even before entering politics, he had fought as a one man army for the rights of the common man taking up issues ranging from corruption to transparency. Most of the time, Kejriwal campaigned singlehandedly as his supporters left the party one after the other. The AAP always spoke about issues of the people like daily water, electricity for homes, a piece of land for shelter, a safe and secure environment for women and children and about curbing corruption in the system as opposed to BJP’s high profile foreign deals and promises of making India a world power. Kejriwal revamped the AAP with the help of close supporters and unleashed promises of making Delhi a world class city. His party never brought up communal issues and declined the support offered by the Delhi Imam in the Assembly elections.
The BJP at the same time was busy with their hardline strategies like Ghar Vapasi, communal attacks and vandalism of churches. PM Modi has always been in the headlines be it flaunting his suit with his own name sewn on it or inviting Obama for the Republic day celebrations. Modi’s party might have anticipated a win by dividing the community along sectarian lines, just like it aided them during the national polls last year. The AAP victory in not only Hindu majority areas but also in minority constituencies is definitely a smack at the communal fascists and a huge relief for those who believe in secularism and democracy. A strong backing from the people would be necessary to overcome the pressures of a hardcore BJP government. In between the landslide win, the party should not forget the many promises it made to the citizens including that of a complete statehood for Delhi which otherwise would reduce it to the same fate as BJP and the Congress.