Tuesday, February 10, 2015


A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The victory of the AAP in the recently concluded polls came as a complete shock to many of us. While the victory of the AAP was predicted the scale of the victory was unprecedented to say the least. The BJP had won all 7 Lok Sabha seats in the May 2014 General Election with a vote share of 37.5%. There has been a slight fall in the vote share  but the BJP won only 3 seats leaving 67 seats to the AAP. What explains this debacle?

1 It is now clear that the projection of Kiran Bedi as the Chief Ministerial candidate mid way through the polls was a flawed strategy and doubly so because that move was not welcomed by the grass root workers of the party. Her high handed conduct alienated party workers and the net result she lost the Krishna Nagar seat, a safe constituency of the BJP.

2 The BJP went into the elections without a Manifesto and that meant that the people of Delhi did not know what to expect from the Party. The Vision Document released was largely a symbolic statement huge on rhetoric but short on specifics. Now in retrospect that was  a factor.

3 The BJP was on a roll winning state after state and had become used to the habit of winning and assumed that Delhi would be a piece of cake. The AAP has built a good net work of supporters in different localities and had the city well covered. A committed band of volunteers worked night and day to make the victory possible. The AAP was able to tap the misguided idealism of the youth who believe that the AAP brand of politics will augur change in India.

4 The BJP under the State President Shri Satish Upadhya was handicapped by the lack of support from the top duo of the Party, Modi and Shah. Satish Upadhya himself was denied a ticket to fight the Polls while defectors like Krishna Tirath were given tickets. The ticket distribution was faulty and there were far too many para troopers wafting from above queering the pitch.

5 The perceived "negative campaign" of the BJP against the much vaunted financial and ethical probity of the AAP is also touted as a reason. The fact is that the AAP is guilty of using shady and dubious finances during the campaign but turned its own misdeeds against the BJP. The AAP is very good at turning all criticism against its conduct as a trial between the forces of good and the forces of evil a kind of eschatology which may lead to short term gains but not long lasting results.

6 The BJP has lost and like a mature political party has started introspecting. The first clear indication of change is the reluctance to enter the dirty cess  pool of Bihar politics. The BPJ will  learn its lessons and get its house in order before the Bihar polls later this year.

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