By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
The lessons that BJP has not understood so far from Delhi election results is going to hurt them again in future elections and AAP’s victory sends a reverberating message across political landscape that giants like BJP can be defeated even when contested in the name of Modi.
The election results of Delhi was a surprise to many people who were expecting BJP medal tally to go beyond 20, it is true that they (BJP) didn’t expected to form government in Delhi but they did not anticipated winding up in single digits in Delhi elections. The saffron party is thinking that rhetoric against Muslims was the reasons for this debacle; but the reality is far from that fact. Absence of ground level leadership and the disconnect from the voters was the primary reason for this election debacle. Delhi gave all seven loksabha representative seats to BJP, last year in 2019 but did an about turn in assemble elections. This says a lot about BJP’s perception among voters in general. Those who put faith in PM Modi for running the country would not entrust a faceless party to run their local government. Moreover, the chosen representatives and Delhi state unit leaders were too busy infighting among themselves to fight AAP. This is not to take away the work that Arvind Kejriwal has done for Delhi but he had the good political sense on fighting election on local issues rather than engaging on religious grounds. AAP’s victory also indicates that if presented with a viable, less corrupt alternative people are willing to put their faith in smaller players.
Jharkhand, Delhi, MP and a lot many states have gone from BJP hands because their local leadership has caused more consternation among voters than evoke any support. Even in upcoming Bihar elections they would have to depend on Nitish Kumar to get them through and Mr. Kumar will be more than happy to increase his bargaining position after New Delhi fiasco of their ally. In most of the places I have observed that BJP solely rely on RSS cadres to generate traction and once they have their mandate they are no where to be seen. Things like pollution, inflation, electricity and availability of clean drinking water do matter to people and BJP’s local reps do not have any clue about solving these issues. BJP over reliance on PM Modi’s crowd pulling power is of no use in absence of personal touch with people.
Indian Politics can be a mixture of irony and humor but it also has plenty of comeback stories but there is one thing that is pretty clear about Indian elections is that political parties can ignore people at their own peril.