Politics is considered a ruthless game where you’re given one chance, and at the first scent of weakness, vultures start circling around you to take you apart. In such a scenario, a fledgling party like Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party getting not one, but two decisive votes of confidence is unheard of in India.
So as Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet gets ready to face the Monday blues for the first time after the oath taking ceremony, we tell you how the blogging community looked at the Delhi elections in this week’s Buzzing Blogosphere.
Arvind Kejriwal battled his demons and the many unflattering labels that stuck to him after his 49 day stint as the Delhi CM the first time around and emerged with a thumping victory to take Delhi by storm, and wash away the opposition in…well, a tsunami. This unprecedented phenomenon obviously inspired the Indian blogosphere to pen down their thoughts about the victors, their spoils and of course, ripping into the losing party. (We told you politics is ruthless)
It is very easy to get carried away with victory and look at only the victor’s side in such a major win. Arnab Ray, however, looks at both sides of the coin and deconstructs the election result. He says, “It had a free “something” for everyone, from bijli and paani right up to Wifi, a veritable Santa Claus in February. CCTVs? We will install 15 lacs of CCTVs and boom woman’s safety. How will one pay for 15 lac CCTVs? Ah well, did I tell you about the new power plant we will set up? How? Where? How much will it…Err wait, have you seen point number 45? It’s frightfully easy for AAP to play this game, because they have never been in power before, and so have no record of not-kept-promises. Oh yes, there was that 49 day thing but they have apologized for it. So it’s cool.”
The flipside to AAP’s historic win was that the BJP lost not just many of its seats, but also lost face with just 3 seats despite heavy campaigning by bigwigs. Bloggers like Prasanna did a detailed analysis of the BJP’s defeat thus – “Play the media’s/opposition’s game: By making Delhi a larger than Delhi election, getting Central ministers participating in electioneering(even those from outside the state). The media and especially AK liked nothing better than being cast against Modi (exactly why he went to Varanasi). BJP shouldn’t have legitimised that. Delhi was an election for a paltry 7 Lok Sabha seats or 70 Assembly seats.”
Most bloggers agreed that clear mandate given to Arvind Kejriwal’s is a combination of factors ranging from BJP’s mistakes to AAP’s clean slate. Swastee says, “The only reason why I believed that AAP would not do more than 45 seats, in all my naive optimism, surely was because BJP used every marketing strategy they could. Literally One day i picked my phone to hear Narendra Modi : when a PM calls you, you pick up and hear him say stuff you really don’t have time for. On a two kilometre stretch I counted 7 billboards with his BOTOX face smiling. Delhi was Saffron. Saffron was Delhi. Overexposure kills the thrill, it makes you too available.”
Interestingly, even though it was clear that BJP was the party to beat for AAP, it is surprising that the Congress featured in nobody’s thoughts despite its abject failure in Delhi. Binu Thomas says, “Congress are just few steps away from being history. And its a scary proposition, not only for the Congress faithful but for Indian politics in general. We need at least 2 national level parties to keep the other on their toes. Decimation of Congress means BJP are the only one left at the national scene. This can bring in complacency (Delhi elections being one such example). AAP is still years away from a national level fight. Third front won’t cut the ice in today’s India where people want a stable government. That leaves only Congress. And they are in a mess – a lot of which are self-inflicted.”
Of course, there were some who placed the blame squarely on Kiran Bedi’s shoulders. As Brandcow says, “Her self-praise about 20 years of service & towing the PM’s car (which she didn’t, check), didn’t go well with the kind of problems Delhi faces.Coming from Anti corruption team of AK and Anna and then going onto say that she will reveal the “real” info of AAP, it only looked like as if she’s a new employee from an old organization bitching & passing on sensitive info to the new company”
It is quite impossible not to be impressed by the way AAP decimated the two grand old parties in the nation’s capital. Even Arvind Kejriwal’s staunchest detractors have no choice but to grudgingly admire him. That being said, the newly minted Delhi CM has his work cut out for him. Danish Ahmed says, “However, ideologies of the Sangh, Congress and the Left occupy the political Right-Centre-Left spectrum, they are confined by it, AAP transcends it. Therein lies the hope. In a truly aspirational India the politics of ghettoisation, communalization and crony capitalism might not work. Indian democracy has emerged stronger and much revitalized after a period of tense political churning.”
And finally, there are some who sum up all the campaigning, the claims, the victory, the defeat and the way ahead in a simple cartoon, like Avinash does in his blog here.
The Delhi elections have broken all rules, defied all odds and predictions and changed the rules of the game, at least when it comes to state elections. Arvind Kejriwal has promised to be in Delhi for the next five years, working to make it a corruption free, safe state. Needless to say, all eyes – whether political, journalistic or that of the Aam Aadmi, will be watching every move.
As Arnab Ray concludes, Finally congratulations Delhi. You will have five interesting years.
What are your thoughts on the Delhi elections and the coming five years for Delhi and AAP? Let us know in the comments section below!