By Rakesh Raman
After a month-long hustings and the voting on Saturday, the new political group Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has stunned the traditional players Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by winning Delhi election.
Led by Arvind Kejriwal, AAP won 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly for which the results were declared today. With absolute majority, AAP is all set to form the government with Kejriwal expected to be the Chief Minister.
In the last Delhi election, Kejriwal had managed to become the Chief Minister of Delhi with support from Congress. But he could stay in the post just for 49 days – from December 28, 2013 to February 14, 2014.
After a gap of nearly one year, the election was held again and now AAP has emerged as the clear winner and will form the government without any external support.
The results have also reinforced the fact that Indian voters have accepted the perpetual criminalization of politics as a norm, as all the three major political parties had fielded almost one-third of their candidates with criminal records.
A leading think tank Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), supported by a political watchdog Delhi Election Watch, had revealed before the election that 23 (33%) of 70 AAP candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Out of these 23 AAP candidates with criminal records, 22 have won the election and they will now be part of the AAP government in Delhi.
BJP had the maximum number of candidates with criminal cases closely followed by AAP and Congress, according to ADR.
The AAP win has come as the death knell for Congress which could never recover after its crushing defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Congress could not win even a single seat in the current Delhi election. Its lackluster campaigns also showed that the family-run party had conceded defeat even before contesting the election.
But the results have come as a real shocker for BJP, which was expecting a clear win over AAP. However, by winning just 3 seats, the Hindu party has faced a humiliating defeat. The biggest factor for BJP’s defeat was the abrupt entry of Kiran Bedi in the party just a couple weeks before the election as the party’s chief ministerial candidate.
Ms. Bedi neither had any political experience nor any acumen to deal with public in a civil manner. Rather, she is known for her hotheadedness and authoritative style of working. Her sudden entry into BJP sent wrong signals among the local leaders and old BJP workers, who had protested openly against Bedi’s inclusion in the party.
But BJP leader and Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi was eager to introduce Bedi because his own perceived popularity graph is experiencing a drastic decline, as he has failed on almost every administrative front during the past nine months of his rule in the country.
Modi – and BJP – roped in Bedi to counter the growing popularity of AAP’s Kejriwal because both – Bedi and Kejriwal – were together (like a brother-sister team) supporting social activist Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign in India during 2012.
Actually, both were cunningly using Hazare and his campaign to gain popularity and launch their political careers. During Hazare’s campaign, both – Bedi and Kejriwal – accused almost every politician in India and had publicly pledged that they will never join politics, which is largely considered a dirty game in India.
However, after ditching Hazare, both possessed by greed decided to play the same dirty game and ignored the anti-corruption crusade that brought them to limelight. Corruption persists in the country.
While Bedi and Kejriwal are equally cunning, Kejriwal could woo the voters by telling lies and making false promises during the past couple years. But Bedi could not get the same amount of time to hoodwink the voters.
[ Also Read: 10 Reasons I Like Sir Arvind Kejriwal ]
It’s not only BJP’s defeat, Bedi could not win even her own seat. The defeat will end Bedi’s political career before its beginning. But it is largely a defeat for Narendra Modi, as he was the face of the campaign in Delhi election with the slogan: “Chalo Chalein Modi Ke Saath” (or let’s go with Modi).
In fact, Modi is living in a self-created illusion, as he thinks BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha election because of his popularity. He doesn’t want to open his eyes to know that it was not BJP’s win but it was Congress’ defeat that brought him to power.
With its repeated failures and corrupt practices, Congress had annoyed the voter to an extent that they would have elected even a non-Congress ghost. This willingness of the voter to dethrone Congress, worked in favor of BJP and Modi became the PM.
But Modi took hardly nine months as PM to prove that he is totally naïve and raw politician who is not capable to run the national affairs. And Delhi defeat is the beginning of the end for Modi and BJP. That’s for sure.
You also can read: More Articles by the RMN Editor, Rakesh Raman