The BJP-Akali Dal Alliance has won 32 constituencies of Delhi. This is about six to eight seats short of our expectations. We have narrowly lost in some assembly segments. Even though we have managed to retain a large part of our traditional votes, there was some shift even in middle class localities to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The Congress was no longer a serious option in Delhi. Residents of Delhi were considering which of the two alternatives to vote for— the BJP or the AAP.
The AAP may have got lesser votes and seats than the BJP. However, that is not a ground for satisfaction for the BJP. The BJP’s march to comfortable majority has not been interrupted by the Congress. It has been interrupted by AAP. The lesson of the 32 constituencies that the BJP has won clearly reveals that most candidates who were well grounded in the constituencies and appeared to be electorally acceptable have won. The lesson for the BJP of these results is that the credibility-quotient counts in an election. The image of the leadership, as also of the candidate, must inspire confidence amongst the voters. The announcement of Dr Harsh Vardhan’s name as the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate helped the BJP. Those who have a track record of serving their constituency well, have a better chance of being elected. Just getting a party nomination even in a stronghold is not enough. The days of conventional politics are now over.
Is the AAP merely a freak phenomenon? Or is it going to be a lasting experiment? The last word on this cannot be said at this moment. This party is unconventional. It has attempted to exploit the general mood of cynicism. It has made unrealistic promises and does not want to sit in a position of responsibility where it has to walk its talk. The very suggestion of being in government to implement its policy and promises appears to be scary for this party. In a democracy, the voters vote in order to elect the government. When there are no clear majorities, the government formation is an art of the possible. The Congress Party can give the AAP outside support in order to form a government. In power, such a party would be like a fish out of water. It is possible to make exaggerated promises, and capture the imagination of a few by making unimplementable promises. The strategy of the party is to avoid power rather than be in a position to implement the unimplementable.