Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘swachh Delhi abhiyaan’, Aam Aadmi Party makes Delhi BJP and Congress ‘mukt’


February 10, 2015

New Delhi: A tsunami, a clean sweep, a thunderstorm or a duststorm- call it what you may but one thing that is crystal clear is that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has done what no other party has been able to do in the electoral history of India.

February 10, 2015

New Delhi: A tsunami, a clean sweep, a thunderstorm or a duststorm- call it what you may but one thing that is crystal clear is that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has done what no other party has been able to do in the electoral history of India.

In a literal indication of its poll symbol – the broom – the party swept almost the entire Delhi winning a mind boggling 67 seats in the 70-member assembly which is a strike rate of 95% and reduced the Bharatiya Janata Party to single digits and Congress to a big zero.

The fierce poll battle in Delhi witnessed several allegations and counter allegations, but the AAP had the last laugh. Its closest rival BJP has been decimated winning just three seats, losing the entitlement of even getting the Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly. The Congress on the other hand, faced complete rout to touch yet another historic low when it could not secure even a single seat for itself in Delhi.

In what certainly did not come as a surprise, AAP's chief ministerial candidate Arvind Kejriwal won the New Delhi seat by a massive margin of over 31,583 votes bettering his 2013 record. Such has been AAP's march that Mustafabad in North East Delhi is the only seat where its candidate is not in the top two. Vishwas Nagar and Rohini are the only other seats where AAP candidates could not use their broom successfully.

However, nothing could have been worst for the BJP than the party's chief ministerial candidate losing from her own seat. After a nail biting counting, Bedi lost the Krishna Nagar, considered BJP's bastion, to AAP's SK Bagga by 2,277 votes.

Accepting the people's verdict, the BJP congratulated AAP and hoped Kejriwal will fulfill the promises that he and the party have made to the people. Despite the humiliation BJP leaders denied the result was a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We take collective responsibility for the results. There is nothing humiliating in a defeat in a democracy," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Much like Bedi, and reflecting the disenchantment with Congress it Delhi campaign Chief Ajay Maken failed to even put up a fight in his constituency. In fact, Maken could not even hold on to the second spot in the Sadar Bazar seat and lost by a margin of over 51,000 votes.

Conceding defeat, a belittled Maken accepted that he had no right to hold his position adding that he would soon hand over his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi. "I take responsibility of this loss. I have no right to stay on this position. I should resign from my post," he said.

Though the post-poll surveys had predicted a massive majority for AAP, they failed to gauze the massive groundswell of support in its favor. The actual results not only matched the poll verdict, but even surpassed the numbers that even the AAP predicted for itself.

With the party sweeping entire Delhi with its broom, celebrations by supporters also reached a crescendo at party offices across the national capital. Boisterous celebrations were seen across the capital with their signature poll tune 'Paanch Saal Kejriwal' blaring over loudspeakers. Massive LCD screens were set up at party offices and every lead drew a thunderous applause from the supporters proudly waving the party flags.

Back in 2012, Kejriwal launched the AAP and widely got accepted as the leader of the masses with the image of the 'mufflerman'. Just a year later, he defeated three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly election. Though within 49 days, in what could be considered a major blunder by the party, they resigned after failing to table the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly.

Facing severe criticism, within and outside the party, Kejriwal accepted that it was a mistake to have resigned from the CM's post so soon. However, AAP did not lose hope and readied to fight the polls yet again in 2015.

Finally, after several months of groundwork, strategizing and fine tuning his party, Kejriwal led his party to a massive majority in the national capital as his cash-strapped outfit won more than 95% of the seats.

Making February 10 a red letter day, Kejriwal and his team showed how to throw a spanner into the BJP's massive and well-oiled election machinery. BJP's victory march which began with the super show in Lok Sabha polls followed by big wins in various state assembly elections met its match in a wiry man who made the muffler a fashion statement.

The AAP single-handedly shook up the entire political arena of the national capital, dismantling the two national parties – BJP and Congress.

With the BJP and the Congress – one decimated to single digits and the other firmly ducked in a box – the BJP and the Congress have much to introspect. On the other hand, the AAP seated comfortably at the top, now has its work cut out.

Courtesy: PTI