The AAP’s convincing victory in the Delhi Assembly elections clearly suggests that the BJP failed to develop a narrative that the electorate happily could relate with. The unfavorable outcome for BJP in the last several Assembly elections points that the voters made a clear distinction between national ambition and regional aspirations. It’s also not a phenomenon anymore for the party to conveniently bring in PM Modi and cash in on his charisma because that approach apparently has ceased to work. PM Modi undoubtedly the most popular leader in contemporary Indian political landscape yet the meat of the matter lies he represents certain set of propositions largely to drive national ambitions or aspirations, thus a local narrative instead of a type cast campaign fit all states kind of technique would indeed prove fatal in coming poll(s). with this result, JP Nadda may not have had a great beginning as the party president, however he is expected to make use of the takeaways in party’s favour for elections to come.
Arvind Kejriwal deserves full credit for the resounding victory, though disastrous performance of the Congress has contributed to the outcome immensely. The Congress anyways seems to have gone into hibernation mode. In a way it reflects fair amount of maturity on part of the current Congress which is complacent about many developments. This reminds the saying “decision of not to act is also a decision and an action as well”. The Congress has realized people have gone too far so better keep cool and relax without regrets. Chidambaram’s latest tweet has not only certified the relaxed mindset of the party, it also points towards party has endorsed its ground in favors of regional parties to take on the BJP. Further, It makes no sense to mention about the left groups who are visibly vibrant only in a handful state sponsored learning institutions campuses and have little footprints in mainstream Delhi politics paving way for a binary between the AAP and the BJP. One thing for sure one may love or hate Arvind but can never ignore him. His meteoric rise has converted him from being a giant-killer to giant himself. He is a smart cookie who has learned from his own errors and possibly acknowledged the views of critics and worked on the areas of improvements viz. stop being an activist when entrusted with responsibility of governance and stop targeting Modi at personal level. Well, like Mamata Banerjee picked up the freebies politics to use as a weapon to retain her fortune in upcoming assembly poll in Bengal, Rahul Gandhi’s advisors may choose to advise their client not to target Modi and see if it works in party’s favor at all. It’s a different discussion, today if a pet at home has a bad stomach, Modi is held accused and to compound it further this contagious disorder is celebrated under the tag of performing democratic duties to keep pressure on the dispensation. This gives only a good laugh though.
To say the BJP got this election fully wrong is no argument for a plethora of reasons. In coming days, a lot of analysis are expected including the impact of Shaheen Bagh, if it had any! Besidesafter the much controversial CAA enactment, Delhi is the first state went into election and the BJP’s vote share has increased significantly so the election outcome though disappointing is certainly going to vindicate the party’s conviction on the issue. One another side effect of this result is NDA coalition partners are likely to start bargaining harder after a series of recent defeats like Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra & Delhi though Maharashtra is on a different footing where the junior partner betrayed after the senior partner refused to accept the power sharing formula put forth.
In summary, Delhi’s debacle is primarily attributed to aspects like the BJP’s campaign did not haveofferings which could have effectively countered those by AAP to assuage the local aspirations. Not for a moment its suggested BJP should shift from a Premium approach to a Discount approach meaning it’s just not sustainable to replicate the model adopted by AAP to win this election however the expectation was BJP could have at least attempted for carving out a mid-groundfor bringing the electorate along. It’s certain the level of material aspiration in an assembly poll is way too higher as compared to the general election where macro pictures take front seat. Secondly, not having a firm CM face and leaving it to speculation has worked against. Manoj Tewari may have been a great choice to secure the support of Purvanchali voters in Delhi but that scheme of working was not fit for purpose when seen in the hindsight.As expected, the Punjabi leaders had to run the show and finally events unfolded the way it did. Thirdly, just by deploying disproportionate quant of resources are no guarantee to win instead as a response to the pulse check on ground,tailor make the strategy which are scalable and not rigid. Strategy to be so flexible that it is capable of being finetuned with emergence of new developments in a fluid environment.Fourthly, it became evident as a city of migrants, its people were more concerned about their day to day affairs rather than investing in what is happening to us at a national level or what this country is poised for in next couple of years. Even people from UP, Bihar, Haryana did not import politics from their respective states matching to the hope. Lastly people closer to the ground strongly believed though the BJP is a well-oiled machine, it underestimated the Arvind Kejriwal’s model. The message is loud and clear, you may disagree but no room for disrespect.
The BJP led government at the centre which is in charge of managing hundred and thirty crores of Indians need to be really careful about every state goes into election for the simple reason in our constitutional scheme of things be it state government and consequential composition of the council of states (Rajya Sabha) has a defining bearing on the way legislative actions are undertaken. In other words having majority in Lok Sabha is just not enough. Therefore, it’s inevitable there is adequate alignment between states and the centre and considering in current political environment its primarily the BJP vs Others, the former has to ensure it retains it expanded ground as originally envisaged by the saffron party when it came to power in 2014. This can only be achieved when the party freezes on its “go-to-election” strategy only after it is convinced the winning probability is much higher. Ironically oppositions may prefer to perceive this result almost as a referendum against the current regime, but it barely resonates with the reality in Indian context.