Understanding Aam Admi Party’s Mega-Victory in Delhi

Adfar ShahAdfar Shah

New Delhi’s assembly elections results were recently out February 10, 2014 in which Aam Admi Party’s (AAP) surprisingly won sixty out of the total seventy seats. The phrase ‘Aam Aadmi’ in Urdu language means “Common Man” and the party was launched way back in 2012 by a former Bureaucrat named Arvind Kejriwal to take on against conventional senior political parties like Indian National Congress, Bhartiya Janta Part, etc,. Mr. Kejriwal who recently took over as the Chief Minister of Delhi came to limelight during famous Gandhian Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption known as ‘India Against Corruption’. He is much revered by masses for his clean image and pro-poor politics .Of the recent elections, the BJP waves tossed themselves against the capital shore and AAP pulled them back out to sea, rightly branded as AAP Tsunami by analysts. This time in Delhi it was not any prior, and informed consent that constituted AAP’s sweeping victory but the informed crowd that made the broom (AAP’s political symbol) win. One of the most important elements of the Delhi voting behavior is her critical masses who keep on analyzing the political brigades/situations and more importantly the staunch voters/fans (solid vote bank) of particular parties are too less and the public with critical sense is more in number. BJP’s rout besides Congress’s diminishing to historical zero clearly reflected Delhi’s informed crowd where every person is a smart voter/twitter-face book voter who understands the pressing issues and politics around. People’s bulk participation reflected by the winning margins of AAP candidates due to AAP Tsunami simultaneously challenged many myths like the vote bank based on regionalism, casteism, radicalism, and scores of other age old gimmicks, etc,. Also AAP’s ascend tells us that earlier who were treated as street jokers are now mature social engineers who manufactured a significant change not by hitting the age old polarizing issues but peoples’ routine life challenges and aspirations.AAP added a human touch to politics and not mechanized it for publicity which was hailed by masses. On one hand, now what remains to be seen is how AAP carries its challenging and apparently difficult manifesto forward to meet the peoples huge aspirations.BJP on the other hand, needs a serious introspection on over confidence (what people see as arrogance) and relying upon the subsided Modi Wave, while the already surrendered Congress needs to rise from the ashes and see how to restructure especially its Delhi unit which is devoid of any visible leadership and lacks ample marketing.BJP and Congress party’s rout teaches us that the capital politics cannot be run or mere oratory and mudslinging but substance and human touch.

Big rally politics and grand theatrics of politics needs to be revisited as only rally’s hardly convert to votes here. The new age politics of reading the peoples’ aspirations and real ground level connect (preferential option for the poor) is much important. Also just parachuting of big faces to contest at the eleventh hour policy is bound to fail because basic foot work and firm roots is more important than the celebrity status. They say waves are inspiring but it is equally true that they rise and fall. Before this wave subsides, let AAP start delivering so that the smart voter doesn’t feel cheated. Let they not rely on or turn arrogant on their wave unlike their opposites and only believe in the waves of love.

The AAP rise definitely gives a clear message which is that if you want to win Delhi you need to have the ability to understand this city and its millions of aspirations. The Delhi assembly election results tell us that India’s critical thinking is growing and masses have began to identify the politicians and do not merely fell prey to celebrity politics or personality cult politics. Also it must be said that issue based politics is thriving and the politics of caste-class, religion, etc is gradually receiving a setback.

(Adfar Shah is a New Delhi based Sociologist and Columnist at various reputed media groups. Author is a special Correspondent for South Asian Affairs at Eurasia Review. Mail at adfer.syed@gmail.com.)

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