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BJP’s massive win and AAP’s Emergence as the new force on the Horizon

December 9, 2013

The results of the four Assembly elections have reinforced what most had predicted – that the Congress is in a perceptibly irrevocable spiral downwards.  They have been swept aside by the Bharatiya Janata Party in all four states.  In Rajasthan they could manage just 21 seats in an assembly of 199. Eighty percent of the seats went to the Bharatiya Janata Party. In Madhya Pradesh too Congress has been decisively routed.  In Chhattisgarh it was a closer contest and sometime on that Sunday afternoon the Congress was leading in 49 seats and BJP trailed with leads in 39 seats. By evening the tally had interchanged and BJP won 49 to Congress’s 39.  For the BJP this has come as a major boost to their chances in 2014 general elections.

In Rajasthan the Ashok Gehlot government faced the ire of the people and sops thrown at the populace were rejected with utter contempt. The people wanted governance and development and when they did not get what they wanted they threw out the Congress government without a thought. This should be a lesson for Vasundhara  Raje Sindhia who will take up the mantle of the Chief Minister. She will be the third women CM in India,which is remarkable indeed.

Both Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Dr. Raman Singh showed that there is nothing called anti-incumbency if you administer well enough. Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s humble demeanour and his ability to connect with the people has given him and his party rich dividends. Dr. Raman Singh’s success is even more commendable as Chhattisgarh is facing Maoist threat. Parts of the state are almost no-go zones where the writ of the Maoists runs.  Here there is little voting and Ajit Jogi of the Congress has clout. Yet to win decisively shows how the man has worked for the state and has managed development.  The good work of the BJP governments has been appreciated and rewarded by the people. The mainstream media fails to appreciate pro-incumbency of the BJP governments and it is indeed unfortunate that these states and their governance is not studied closely.

It is Delhi elections that came as a big surprise. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 28 seats and the Congress was left with just 8 seats. BJP with 32 seats emerged as the single largest party. The Modi effect was evident in Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh but it was Delhi that benefitted the most from Modi rallies. I am not sure BJP would have emerged as the party with maximum seats if Narendra Modi had not campaigned in Delhi. There is a Modi wave and that must be accepted. The complete annihilation of the Congress in MP and Rajasthan is a direct result of a Modi wave sweeping the country.

Poor showing by Congress and Rahul Gandhi is the big news in these elections. The complete rejection of the Congress style of politics and economics is very clear from these results. The bad news is that the Congress has not realized the gravity of the problem that is facing them. The rise of the fledgling AAP is the other big takeaway from these elections. The problem in Delhi is that no party has a clear majority and BJP is a political pariah. AAP is posturing a saintly equidistance from both the Congress and the BJP.  The truth of the matter is that while with the BJP there is a real problem of finding suitors with the AAP there is no such problem. They can command the Congress to support them. The fact is that the AAP is shying away from taking responsibility. Their game plan is to spread out in the rest of the country on an anti-corruption, inflation plank and then grab power directly at the Centre. This is negating the mandate that the people have given them. They should be confident about their policies and programs and with the kind of talent that they claim to have they should not find it difficult to give a government that functions.

The AAP performance has been spectacular by any yard stick. Arvind Kejriwal defeated Sheila Dixit in her own backyard and that was as stunning a result as any that the nation has ever seen. This victory by a political upstart is being compared to Raj Narayan’s victory against Indira Gandhi in the ‘70’s. Other candidates of AAP also won against political heavy weights of the Congress Party. I agree that there was a political fatigue and people wanted a change, but even so, such a stunning result was never expected. Clearly people are fed up of price rise and corruption and want a clean administration. The skyrocketing of prices of basic vegetables hurt every household and that contributed to the massive reaction against the Congress government. AAP positioned itself as the messiah of the poor and the down trodden. The Middle Class too voted for them as basic essentials had become out of reach for them. It was also their style of campaigning that helped them win. AAP did not go in for huge rallies rather they organized small street corner meetings where they said what they had to say and more importantly listened to what the people had to say.  This close people to people contact helped them win confidence of the masses and they voted for the AAP decisively.

AAP’s reluctance to form government should not be construed as them limiting to Delhi alone. Kejriwal and his storm troopers have national ambitions and they make no bones about it. They already have a presence in 306 districts with a well organized hierarchy.  The Left of the Centre space that the Congress has always held maybe slipping out of their hands.  There is every possibility that AAP may be a bigger threat to the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections than the Congress. I know that Congress has roots and it may not be very easy to completely obliterate the party, yet to ignore the ambitions of the AAP will not be prudent either.

The rise of the AAP is because of the lack of decision making by the Congress government at the centre. This also means a big setback to industrialization and development of the country. AAP is overtly anti-business.  AAP may elbow out the Congress in the years to come and that does not bode well for the country. This may well happen as Rahul Gandhi’s statement post the electoral debacle lacked the understanding of the situation staring his party.  He seems to be clueless of the challenges and how to tackle them.  Already there are calls for his sister Priyanka to take the lead. Sonia Gandhi, it seems has left the day today running of the party to Rahul Gandhi. If the top leadership is rudderless one can imagine where the party is headed. Congress may be writing their own obituary if they do not come out of their slumber.

The massive BJP victory was celebrated at the bourses with a jump in the Sensex of more than 2%.  Clearly the nation is looking forward to a BJP government post 2014. The question remains whether this Manmohan Singh government has any moral right to remain in power after such a drubbing. No one is asking this simple question.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2013 12:21 pm

    World is Watching !

    It is not only India

    Entire world is watching what has happened – and continues to happen – in Delhi

    Oppressed people of Tunisia , Libya , Iraq , Egypt , Yemen , and now Syria , took up arms and fought bloody battles to liberate themselves from the tyranny of dictators

    Of course , in no small measure , due to covert help from the Western world

    But India is the land of Gandhi ( – the ancient one , not the Dynasty ! )

    And peace-loving people of Delhi needed no outside help to throw out Congress and give a mandate to BJP and AAP

    But a fractured mandate that gives no party a clear majority !

    Apparently , people of Delhi failed to appreciate that a coalition government is a government that gets blackmailed by its coalition partners , whose sole aim is to make a ton of money !

    Exactly what has been happening at the Centre for the past 5 years , rendering UPA -2 , a Spineless Spectacle !

    Arvind Kejriwal realized this a long time back and over the past 6 months , repeatedly said ,

    ” We will neither support any party , nor seek support from anyone ”

    He is absolutely right when he refuses to form a minority-led government , under constant threats from corrupt partners

    What next ?

    Although President’s Rule is an immediate possibility , it is a pointless postponement of what is inevitable , viz :


    Let us get over it fast

    Let us face the harsh reality of parliamentary democratic process

    If people of Delhi want a stable / accountable / corruption-free government , then let them go to the polling booths ONCE AGAIN , and give AAP , at least 40 SEATS

    Let their message ring loud and clear , across the length and breadth of India , proclaiming :

    ” Brothers and Sisters,

    If you want to get rid of corruption , give AAP , an ABSOLUTE
    MAJORITY in 2014 National Elections


    If you hesitate , and split your vote , you will have only yourself to
    blame for your continued suffering ”

    * hemen parekh ( 10 Dec 2013 )

    • December 10, 2013 1:50 pm

      AAP should be bold enough to take support from Congress. They will be the senior partner and can pursue their own agenda. They should not shy away from assuming responsibility.

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