Despite using all the resource at its disposal and spewing hate venom for two weeks at a stretch, the BJP failed miserably to impress the Delhi voters in the recently concluded Assembly elections. The results of the Assembly polls were declared on Tuesday in which the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal registered a crushing victory over its arch rivals Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
AAP registered resounding victory with over 50 per cent of the votes polled in its favour for two consecutive elections, a feat only achieved by BJP in Gujarat. The AAP top leadership had promised development relief from bill burden to people of Delhi and it managed to deliver in five years.
It changed the face of Delhi’s government schools and defeated even private schools in Board exam performance. It was clearly a socialist approach of the Delhi government, which focused on common man’s issues – road, power, water, school, mobility and health. By the end of its full term, the Kejriwal government was able to fulfil more than 80 per cent of its promises, which is a record in itself. Moreover, the Delhi government managed to ensure revenue surplus despite drop in grants from Centre.
The AAP government directly took the private power distribution companies and private schools for abnormally high power tariff and education fees respectively.
The BJP central leadership clearly had no answers to take on the Kejriwal government. It had unleashed all the agencies at its disposal to unearth any possible scam. But that didn’t work. Then it used Lt Governor as a tool to thwart every decision that the Delhi government took. It took the Supreme Court to hand over the powers to Delhi government.
During election campaign, Union Home Minister Amit Shah entered BJP’s election campaign fray in late January and along with his army spit venom of communal hatred every day. But the Delhi voters showed extreme maturity by bringing AAP back to power with overwhelming majority.
The politics of hate ensured that the BJP’s house collapsed like pack of cards. This is the biggest take away of this election. There is no alternative to development policy for a government and it has to act as a welfare State.
But can this model be replicated by AAP in places outside Delhi? No. Because Kejriwal could achieve this feat because he had the experience of working in the government and later development work in the community. His community social work fetched him the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award. He knows the problems of Delhi inside out. But that is not the situation in AAP leadership in other parts of the Goa.
Best example is AAP in Goa, which is perpetually in slumber. Its leadership doesn’t have the experience or the intention to work in the community. After AAP’s crushing defeat in 2017 Assembly polls, I had warned AAP leadership not to contest any election till 2022 and use the next five years to work in the community and establish itself.
But it didn’t follow GT’s advice and contested 2019 Lok Sabha and Panaji Assembly bypolls. But as expected, the party faced a washout like in 2017. APP is more reactive in Goa and not proactive. It does not take up the issues of common man like inflation, water, power, road and employment. It is a shame that as a newspaper editor has to prod the common man’s party to take up common man’s issues.
Just reacting to government actions and holding press conferences for giving reaction to anything and everything won’t help its cause. It can’t win elections using Kejriwal’s name. Same is the situation with Goa Congress. Be it State Congress chief Girish Chodankar or Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat, both are indulging in reactive politics. There is no initiative to galvanise people by taking up their issues. Just tweeting and holding pressers are not going to help their cause.
There is a huge population in tribal areas which is living in abysmal condition. There is no sign of any progress in their lives. But the Opposition leaders are silent on their issues. No leader has taken up the issues of poorest of poor to provide them with relief.
Unless there is a united and strong Opposition, which works in the community to alleviate lives of common people, there is very little chance that that BJP will be dislodged in Goa. Wake up Opposition before it’s too late.