Libertatem Magazine

The Political Menace: Downfall of AAP and rise of BJP in Delhi Municipal Elections

Contents of this Page

The Great Indian Elections celebrate the functioning of a successful democratic institution. The elections in India are held on regular intervals, and the autonomous body i.e. the Election Commission of India has the responsibility to conduct free and fair elections and regularly evaluate and examine the trending issues so that amicable solutions can be executed. The Election Commission of India currently faces various challenges such as EVMs alleged to be tampered by various political parties, holding of simultaneous elections i.e. holding general and local elections together, recommending the Law Commission, suggesting necessary changes in the Representation of People’s Act, etc. This article is an attempt to evaluate the result of the MCD polls held in Delhi on the 23rd of April 2017. The current dispensation at the Centre emerged as the single largest party in the MCD polls provided great impetus to the morale of the workers and leaders.  This article does not concentrate on praising the achievements of the Bhartiya Janta Party, but focuses on understanding the whole process involving the rise and fall of the Aam Admi Party, the face value of Shri. Narendra Modi, the issues on which MCD polls are contested and future expectations.

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment aimed at empowering the local bodies, and the 74th Amendment provided an autonomous status to the Municipal Corporations. In Delhi, MCD polls are contested on different wards, and the prime issues that are to be concentrated upon by the MCD officials are water, sanitation, women safety, health, electricity, etc. Delhi, the capital city of India, does not possess appropriate tools to counter the issues. The capital has become a breeding ground for poor health and sanitation facilities. Every year, we come across the problems of dengue resulting in the deaths of hundreds of citizens. But, this year the elections were contested on different lines according to my opinion. The earlier rule in the Municipal Corporation was majorly the Bharatiya Janta Party. The likely changes in the rule were predicted, but the results declared all the predictions incorrect. What we need to understand is that there are certain factors which contributed to the winning of the BJP in massive numbers in the MCD elections. The rise and fall of the Aam Admi Party is the biggest factor. Apart from the fall, the internal turbulence of the Congress and the lack of the leadership to raise critical issues and lacked vision equally contributed in the winning of the BJP. And, the major reason is the growing popularity of Shri Narendra Modi.

Arvind Kejriwal, the torch-bearer of fight against corruption, had a grand opening. His popularity and charisma led to his and his party’s massive victory during the Assembly polls and left everyone speechless. The overwhelming majority in the House was seen as a Government who will deliver to the aspirations of the citizens. The AAP government took office with great zeal and enthusiasm, and it is not denied that their work has not gone unnoticed. The initiative of Mauhala Clinic is commendable. But, months later, the political accusations and internal rifts amongst the top members of the Party led to the downfall of the party. Mr. Kejriwal’s unwavering determination lacked focused. As his attempt to politicize major issues did not go in his favour. His act of blaming the Centre for non-cooperation only led in the weakening of his political status. A good administrator like Kejriwal lacked in the qualities of a good leader and a better politician. In my opinion, the rejection of AAP candidates in the MCD polls may be the after effect of his betrayal to the residents of Delhi. As his diverted efforts to gain power in Punjab and U.P. was a big failure for which the party payed the price in Delhi. Kejriwal’s accusation against EVMs may or may not be substantial, but what the Party needs to introspect first is to focus its entire effort in fulfilling the promises made to the people of Delhi which is seen as the last hope turning the ball back to its’ court. Because, the MCD polls clearly showed the anguish of the people against AAP and for its revival the party must concentrate its efforts towards the people of Delhi entirely before the next Assembly elections. The Congress Party’s debacle began during the Lok Sabha Elections of 2014. The Party’s defeat was analyzed as an anti-incumbent wave due to inefficiency in leadership. The Party claimed its revival by working in opposition. The success of it was short. The Party, after forming Grand Alliance and making a little victory in the State of Punjab, failed to make a solid foot on the ground. The major reason for their failure is directed towards inefficient leadership and lack of sound decision making. According to many reports, the internal rifts against the family domination and lack of representation in the decision making process forced many to quit the party. During the MCD elections in Delhi, the Congress Party was seen as a small player in the race. The Congress Party was not seen as a major opponent, and the electorates of Delhi like in the Assembly polls rejected the candidates in the MCD polls as well. The Party needs some deep introspection and necessary changes in the current command. The failure to form government in States like Goa illustrates their lack of vision and sound decision making power. The Congress Party is still trusted for their struggle during the freedom movement and many believes in the principles on which the Party was founded, but the Party must not become the handmaiden of one family and the poor representation will only lead to its downfall. There are various leaders with exquisite potential and the responsibility must be allotted to the person who has the potential to deliver and not to the ones having close affinity.

Now, after examining the short-comings of the political opponents of the BJP, we must also highlight the BJP’s victory and the future road ahead of them. The earlier majority of the MCD officials also comprised of the members of the Bhartiya Janta Party, and under their rule, Delhi have not seen much of improvement. The water shortage is still rampant, and the health and sanitation conditions are deteriorating. Every year dengue causes death of hundreds of citizens and the drainage facility is still inadequate. So, what has led to the victory of the BJP even after so many short-comings? The prime reason is the face value of Shri Narendra Modi and the star campaigners of the Bhartiya Janta Party. He successfully retained the faith of the people and the candidates using his mentorship to gain votes during the elections. Even during the MCD elections, the dual leadership of Shri. Modi and Mr. Amit Shah, led to the victory in the battle. Their decision to allot tickets to the fresh candidates has led many electorates vote with the hope of some changes. The agendas of development and better governance have yet again managed to convince the people of their competency. It is to be applauded that how BJP managed to maintain their winning streak but the road ahead may not be easy for the MCD officials and the people of Delhi. The whole nation is aware of the rift between the BJP and the AAP, and having the current dispensation of AAP in Delhi, the MCD officials may claim to not work amicably as was done earlier as well. The issue of delay in releasing of funds, lack of coordination between the official and willful non-cooperation would ultimately lead to the loss of the people of Delhi. The deplorable Centre-State relations between the current dispensations often used as an excuse for the delay in work may also be used as an excuse at this juncture. This is an actual litmus test for the representatives to fulfill their promises, and keep the aspirations of the people of Delhi before their political battles and in their fight to bring one down. It is clear that this would be the state before the next elections, so the leaders must establish a cordial atmosphere where such trivial differences does not undermine the important issues and the focus should be towards the promises provided in their manifesto.

About the Author