Do we have any lessons to learn?
Voters of Delhi have done it. They have taught Modi and his trusted lieutenant, Amit Shah, a lesson by making them pay heavy price for their arrogance and divisive politics.
AAP seizing 67 of 70 seats in Delhi Assembly is no mean an achievement. All those political and exit poll speculations too have been proved grossly underestimating the voter’s mood in Delhi that sent stalwarts packing from the constituencies that have historically stayed as the bastion of BJP in New Delhi.
Even the high profile Kiran Bedi, inducted at the last moment into the BJP and straightaway declared as party’s Chief Ministerial candidate __much to the shock and amazement of BJP’s own cadres ___ had to eat dust losing her election from Krishna Nagar constituency that has historically stayed with BJP and presumed to be a safe seat in these elections.
The AAP has not just bagged the seats but a high percentage of voter turn out (56%) far higher than 25% that it had managed in last elections when its popularity was at its zenith. What could have thus lead to this massive upsurge in the percentage of voter turn out and the resultant seats that AAP won, is a question that the political pundits would be introspecting.
Earlier in the day when the counting started, it was clear that the Congress would be facing a total rout. And it did. The party did not get any seat and its chief ministerial candidate, Vijay Makan, conceded the defeat and tendered his resignation from Party’s Working Committee in acknowledgement of his moral responsibility for the drubbing. But, the position was no less decimating for the BJP which merely managed 3 out of 70 seats leaving the rest to be carried away by AAP. Therefore, BJP’s rout was no less disgraceful than Congress given the fact that this party was in New Delhi ruling the Country from 7-Race Course Road after landslide victory in recent parliament elections in which it won all the 7 parliament seats that Delhi has. The rout was comprehensive for the party and the extent of it has some solace for the Congress in its worst ever defeat in Delhi.
What could possibly contribute to this realignment of political forces in Delhi, is what would be curiously gone into be political pundits over next few days in their close analysis of this situation which for certain will impact future course of events for political parties, more particularly the BJP, in coming State Assembly elections.
The tirade with which the BJP, lead by Modi and Shah, were moving forward has been effectively halted by the voters of Delhi. Whatever conclusions the analysts may come to, the fact remains that not entire population that voted for AAP belonged to it. The BJP and Congress has its established cadres. From the voter turnout for each of them, it is but clear that its own cadres have gone against the party for which they have had a long association and a strong allegiance. Why did that happen, let’s try and have a dig at it.
In case of Congress, the leadership crisis are now stronger than ever. Sonia Gandhi’s cherished dream of making Rahul as the heir- in-waiting, has cost the party heavily. One wonders if Sonia was so much overwhelmed by the love and affection for her son, what about the second line of hierarchy that appears meek and unassertive. A party that has a proud place in the history of India is now appearing to be on way of extinction, and nobody seems to be bothered !
In case of BJP, it is but clear that the party has paid heavily for the arrogance of Modi and Amit Shah. They not only eased the top political brass of the party, albeit with contempt, but took decisions like induction of Kiran Bedi in Delhi just before elections and declared her to be party’s Chief Ministerial candidate. That proved disappointing for its own cadres who for certain appear to have rebelled to bring it down on knees. The quietness with which this rebellion has been exercised, is very interesting and intriguing. Its other contributing factors were: making loud promises which were not fulfilled; using bad and foul language against its opponents and conducting government and party affairs in a way as if these were personal fiefdoms of Modi and Amit Shah. Both were acting as dictators. Delhi results are a huge blow to the image of Modi and his men who converged on this election with all their Ministers and MPs terming these as most prestigious for the party.
Pursuing divisive politics is also what seriously hurt BJP’s image with common people. The leadership got it all wrong in presuming that the democratic and secular fabric of the country was weak and could be tampered with ease. Defending objectionable statement of its party members such as Ghar Wapsi, producing 4-Children, haraam zadey, burning of Churches all made people furious as these had tendency of putting the country on the path of divisive politics. Even the US President, Barak Obama, who was extended unprecedented hospitality in his recent visit on Republic day eve, did not miss to hit at Modi Government for encouraging religious intolerance.
Modi perhaps did not realise how important it was to uphold the dignity of the post of Prime Minister. He failed to realise that his predecessors were eminent persons like Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, AB Vajpayee, L.B. Shastri and others all of whom all of whom held the post of PM with grace and dignity. His frequent public addresses at which he would mimic his opponents, call them names etc. seriously impaired that stature. Even the PDP Patron, Mufti Syed reminded Modi that he was no ordinary party parcharak but Country’s Prime Minister and needed to conduct himself in a dignified manner. His remarks came in the wake of abusive attitude of Modi in all election rallies that Modi had in J&K in recent Assembly elections. It is a different thing that the Mufti is now working out a government formation possibility with the same person who had him named as a looter by the people at the Samba election rally.
Apart from above, what has brought significant amount of success to AAP in Delhi is the simplicity and down-to-earth behaviour of Arvind Kajriwal. He did not fumble in seeking apology for having quit the power barely in 49 days. That went down very well with people who thought and believed that this man was truthful and deserved another chance to serve the people of Delhi. Our leaders need a lot to learn from this man and do introspection at their levels of how badly they have been conducting themselves in their public life.
Like people of Delhi, we could very well expect the AAP kind of revolution spreading to other States, including the J&K, as the people are tired of corrupt and inefficient.