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

Libertatem Magazine - - Contents - by Shreyan Acharya

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 he 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.

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.

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