A political development of profound significance for India
The elections in Delhi which witnessed a record 67 percent turnout once again became the centre of attention in India. The attention was mainly focussed on Aam Aadmi Party whose spectacular politics over the past three years has posed the only real challenge to BJP. AAP’s ascent to power in Delhi in 2013 within a year of its formation was arguably the biggest and the most significant event of 2013 in India. Arvind Kejriwal, the man who made it possible was one of the many noted activists who were a part of the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. AAP has introduced an alternative political vision for India which transcends secular-communal politics of Congress and BJP. This is a politics that aspires to transcend identity and ideology and represent the aspirations and expectations of the common man. It also offers a basic commitment to a clean, fair and just system, something that might seem utopian given the present state of politics in the country which basically thrives on appeal to identity and ideology, a part of which pernicious in their envisioning of India. AAP’s first government supported by Congress lasted just 49 days. Kejriwal resigned in a huff when Congress refused to back his bill on Lok Pal. This disappointed AAP constituency and the party built on a sustained protest against corruption was seen as incapable of providing a stable government. Many people as much as wrote off the AAP. But as its election campaign in Delhi polls bore out, AAP has re-invented itself as a political force in India. And if most exit polls are any indication, the party looks set to get a majority of its own. Should this happen it will be the first time that BJP will suffer a political setback following the anointment of the prime minister Narendra Modi as its leader. This will be a political development of profound significance for India with a likely fallout on the elections in Bihar later this year. At a time when Modi has become invincible, and Sangh Parivar’s lunatic fringe is on the loose, AAP victory could be the first chink in his armour and thus, in a sense, for the good of India.