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The aap victory and after

, February 12, 2015, 0 Comments

aap victory MarketExpress-inThe scale of AAP victory in Delhi elections was beyond everybody’s expectations. The BJP’s tally was in single digits and the Congress party failed even to open its account. The AAP won about 60 per cent of the votes. The task before AAP now is to fulfill the promises it made to the electorate. Their promise of abundant supply of water and electricity at cheap rates will come to haunt them throughout their tenure of 5 years and they may never be able to fulfill this to the satisfaction of all.

The distinguishing feature of AAP is their claim to provide an honest administration free from corruption and applying checks on bribery and black money. If the party can perform on this front the public will be ready to forgive them if they fall short on targets of delivering water and electricity at low rates. Their other targets of providing better educational and health services can be fulfilled with appropriate fiscal management.

Why did the people of Delhi reject the BJP and vote for the AAP. Probably a message has gone to the public that the BJP government is not going to fulfill its election promises. The activities of the fringe elements of the BJP, their frequent communal outbursts and the failure of the top BJP leadership to put a check on these activities could have also brought disillusionment among the public regarding the performance of the Modi government at the center. The Modi government, while repeatedly proclaiming that they are for development, has deviated from this goal time and again.

The forthcoming Union Budget of the central government will provide a litmus test as to whether the government is serious about meeting its economic and development agenda. The central government will also have to reassure the public and particularly the minorities that it is serious about tackling the communal drift. Exit poll surveys have clearly shown that the minority communities have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the AAP in the elections to the Delhi Assembly.

The dismal show of the Congress Party in the Delhi elections raises questions as to whether this party will ever be able to revive itself. It is true that supporters of the Congress Party voted for the AAP in large numbers during the Delhi elections. This is because, though they still held loyalty to the Congress, many of them felt that there was no point voting for the Congress since the party is going to fare badly in the elections. Hence the best way to put a check on the BJP was to vote for the AAP. These former supporters of the Congress Party could return to the congress fold at the time of the national elections. But for this to happen the Congress has to prove itself that it means business.

It is very clear that revival of the Congress Party is not possible if the party returns to the electorate with their dynastic agenda intact. The Congress Party has to go in for a leadership change. The change that could be visualized could be somewhat as follows: Sonia Gandhi should retire from politics and Rahul Gandhi should take over as the party president. The party should cultivate a new hierarchy of leadership and project one of their best leaders as a possible PM candidate. Rahul Gandhi should only be a nominal head, akin to the role now played by Sonia Gandhi.

The distrust among the public for the Congress Party is very strong. But still there exist an underlying current of loyalty which could be tapped if the party is appropriately reorganized and a strong viable alternative leadership is projected before the public. It can be noticed that many of the TV anchors treat leaders from the Congress Party with contempt. These TV journalists should realize that if something like a two party system is to evolve in this country the best alternative to the BJP is still the Congress whatever may have been the record of this party under the UPA regime.

The AAP emerged as a powerful alternative to the BJP in Delhi. But it is still very much uncertain whether the AAP will be able to repeat this success at the national level. The next possible alternative to the BJP is the Alternate Front made up of regional parties. Even though such a front failed to evolve at the time of the last general elections there is every possibility that such an alternative will eventually see the light of day.

The performance of the BJP government during the first few months in office has demonstrated the dangers of have a single party rule in this country particularly when that party has little devotion to ideals like secularism and inter religious and communal harmony. Thus there is no need to emphasize the need for political alternatives to the BJP, be it in the form of the Congress Party, the AAP or the Alternate Front.