Victory for AAP

The Delhi results must come as another deadly jolt to the frontline national parties, namely the Congress and the BJP. The ruling AAP and its leader, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal stole a march over his rivals for the second time in succession – and in a sweeping manner, winning almost all the seats. Going by the level of the party’s victory this time, what is clear is that Kejriwal managed to retain his support to the full and made mincemeat out of his political rivals for the second time in a row.

Clearly, Kejriwal would not have tasted such a huge success this time but for the solid Muslim support he got in constituency after constituency. Muslims voted against the BJP every time an election came, and this time was no different. The difference this time was that they voted en mass for the AAP this time, if only to prove a point to the BJP. The result was that the Congress party suffered heavily. Its usual dependence on minority votes came to naught this time. For one, the Congress did not come out in full support of the anti-CAA protests. Nor did the AAP and Kejriwal. But, since it was clear to all that the fight was evolving into a direct engagement between the AAP and the BJP, the way to defeat the BJP was to back the AAP.

The BJP will lick its wounds in Delhi for a long time to come. This came on top of the string of defeats for the saffron party in Maharashtra and Jharkhand, and the less-than laudable show in Haryana as also in the entire South in recent elections. Assembly polls as a whole are going against the BJP for quite some time, starting with the Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan-Chhattisgarh polls. Delhi has now proved that the BJP cannot carry on as a national party in this faulty fashion. Its victory in the Lok Sabha polls was principally a people’s vote for Modi, because of the TINA factor – there was no strong alterative to him.

The Congress too has faltered again; its loss of face being more painful this time because of the total rout in Delhi. There is a crisis at the party’s leadership level after the LS polls. Seven months hence was a long time to repair the faulty organizational engine. But there is no visible attempt at it. Sonia Gandhi is ailing and not her former self anymore. This is advantage regional parties.

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