It is official AAP has clean swept Congress out of power and has given the BJP a run for all its worth. Sheila Dixit lead Congress could only muster 8 seats after remaining in power in Delhi for 15 long years. BJP has won in the states of Chhittisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajhstan, but in Delhi they are four crucial seats short to form a government.
The big news, however, is that the “Jhadu” (straw broom) of AAP has cleansed the heaps of dirt that had accumulated in the power corridors in Delhi. Arvind Kejriwal, the head of the AAP has defeated the sitting chief minister Sheila Dixit by a margin of over 25,000 votes. Dr. Harshvardan, the BJP candidate for chief minister of Delhi has won his seat but his party like the Congress has given a lack luster performance in the polls overall in Delhi.
The mainstream media that had branded AAP as nothing more than a spoiler and had refused to give it coverage, is also licking its wounds. The AAP volunteers, an estimated 100,000 strong, mostly middle-class, conducted a door-to-door campaign instead. In addition, they used the social media platform to canvass for their party. AAP volunteer corps campaign on the FaceBook was an instant hit with an estimated 4.5 million young first time voters. An important factor in the present elections that affected the performance of the established parties was the huge turn-out about 65-70 percent; people who normally didn’t cast their vote, disillusioned with both Congress and BJP, this time round came out of their homes to vote for AAP.
What swept the Congress out of power was first, the incumbency factor and second the charges of corruption against its minister including the chief minister. Sheila Dixit has accepted the defeat and has sent her resignation to the Lt. Governor Jung. A senior leader of Congress admitted that the rise in the prices of onions and vegetables lead to their defeat. Another candidate lamented the fact that he left BJP to contest the present elections on Congress ticket and badly lost.
BJP the largest party in the 70 member house with 32 seats is not in a position to form government; Congress has been completely routed and AAP with 28 seats to its credit prefers sitting in the opposition benches than form a coalition with either BJP or Congress. In such a condition the most likely prospect appears to be the imposition of President’s rule in Delhi.
The results of the present elections prove that the common man in the Indian capital is sick and tired of the worn out and shallow rhetoric of the established parties. Another inference that can be drawn from these election results is that in the general elections to be held in India in six-months time, major upsets will take place. This has put both the Congress and the BJP on guard leaving the common man and its true representative AAP in a jubilant mood.
Congress has been in power for so long that it has lost grass-root-level contact with the common man; consequently his needs and aspirations. The comprehensive win of AAP is a wake -up call for Congress. If the party is willing to reinvent itself and start addressing the issues faced by the common man then well and good , and if not, then face extinction. It is a moment to reflect for BJP as well, if today the broom of AAP was able to clean sweep Congress from the power corridors of Delhi, tomorrow may well be their turn.
By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada