Arvind Kejriwal, AAP, and the emotions it has aroused ..

Before the advent of the Aam Aadmi Party via its surprising performance in the Delhi elections, the entire political atmosphere in the country used to be routed around Narendra Modi. The political discourse was all around what he said in which speech, in which statement, in which post, and the reaction of other parties to this. Except for maybe Rahul Gandhi, all the other leaders of the Congress and other parties would give mostly critical references to what Modi said (Rahul Gandhi would never bring up Modi in what speech he would make); thus fulfilling part of what Modi wanted – which was the spectacle of everything rotating around Modi, of him becoming more and more known and bringing his speeches and comments all around the country It was all working fine for the BJP, making this a Modi vs. the rest kind of political contest. And with a huge anti-incumbency against the Congress sweeping the country, it was Modi who was able to showcase a development agenda, and even the struggle to cast aside the Hindutva hardliner image and that of the Gujarat 2002 riots was getting better.
And then came the Delhi election results – as expected, the BJP moved ahead of the Congress, but what was surprising was the way that the Aam Admi Party came onto the scene, touting its claim to be different from the other parties and representing the common man; one of their primary selling points was the claim that they were honest and would ensure the reduction of corruption wherever they are present. The other parties did not give this much of a credence, being extremely dismissive, and yet when the results came, they almost matched the percentage results of the BJP and resulted in a drastic reduction of the voting percentage of the Congress (the Congress vote share was down by 15% while that of the BSP was down from 14% to 5%).
This was a drastic upheaval in politics, and the effect of this was not confined to Delhi. Instead, suddenly the attraction of the AAP (and that of Arvind Kejriwal) was incredibly high across the country, and he and his party replaced Modi and the BJP as the speaking point. What was getting discussed was about whether this is a one-off vote, can this be spread across other parts of the country, is this only an urban phenomenon or can even be popular in rural areas; what about places such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu where the politics are different, and so on. However, the focus on the BJP and on Modi has suddenly gone away atleast in the minds of the media. What this also means that this is a deadly threat to the BJP in terms of trying to reach an electoral high. But it would be wrong to say that it is only threatening the BJP or that they are an ally of the Congress. If one were to consider the AAP as being an ally of the Congress, it is like having a deadly cobra as a pet. The AAP, if it manages to do some good stuff in the next few months has the capability of quickly attracting the vote share that the Congress gets (it will also threaten the BJP vote share, but even more so of the Congress) – the weak, the poor, the minorities, and so on. It also does not have any of the baggage that the BJP carries with it, and in fact, has qualities that the other parties are starting to believe that they need to show – plainness, less security, more responsiveness to corruption (although the Congress response to Adarsh and coal and Virbhadra Singh shows that it has not really learnt).
What do other parties do in such cases ? It is now open season on the AAP from the other parties – they were condemned for not forming the Govt in Delhi and when they did, they were condemned for doing so. It’s been 15 days and they have been condemned for not taking action against Congress and Sheila Dixit, and yet without a solid investigation they would be accused of vendetta and biased police action; when Kejriwal announced a Janta Darbar and thousands of people turn up, it is a solid slap on the face of the previous Congress Government and the BJP ruled MCD since they left so many people with so many problems; and yet when the huge crowd over-whelms the arrangements, there is a huge wave of criticism and darbars held by other parties are remembered. But, when you talk to the people in the street, they are hesitantly able to dream of a time when the police does not harass them or they are able to get their documents or other work from the bureaucracy without immense delays and without having to pay a bribe to get it done.
And that is the baggage that Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party carries. The weight of expectations is incredible, and the tendency to get caught up in the ways of power and the bureaucracy is very high; but the future of the AAP depends on how well they are able to do in Delhi. If they are able to convince the people of Delhi that they are walking the talk, and are able to bring about a few high powered convictions, they will be all set; and that is something that the Congress and the BJP should be dreading – which one should dread it more is not so easy to figure out right now. For the Congress, the focus has totally gone away and is now on Modi and Kejriwal, not on Rahul Gandhi, which is very negative for the future of the Congress.

1 comment to Arvind Kejriwal, AAP, and the emotions it has aroused ..

  • Arvind Kejriwal is a fraud person in India. He always speaks lie to people of India. He is a foolest person in India till yet. He know how to take U Turn on its own speech.

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