What Congress, BJP should learn from AAP win
'Kisko vote diya bhai…?' The BJP now seems to be asking the people of Delhi in the post poll scenario and at many places the reply is, 'AAP ko vote...
"Kisko vote diya bhai…?" The BJP now seems to be asking the people of Delhi in the post poll scenario and at many places the reply is, "AAP ko vote diya." Well, this joke is going viral on social media.
Another joke is that the BJP candidates also unwittingly campaigned for AAP. During the campaign, whenever they used to ask, "vote kisko doge?", the reply used to be "AAP ko". The people had been clearly saying that they will vote for AAP, but the BJP and the Congress failed to catch the point.
Jokes apart, the fact is that people chose Kejriwal for his performance as Chief Minister despite peculiar executive system that prevails in Delhi State.
Unlike other States, here the executive is not absolutely free. Certain functions fall under the purview of the Union government since Delhi also happens to be the capital of India.
The State executive had on number of times clashed with the Lt Governor alleging that he was not strictly following the Constitution and was creating hurdles in administration.
Yet it is commendable that Kejriwal whom the Congress and the BJP had many times dubbed as Krazywal made the two national parties go crazy by sweeping the polls with his party symbol the broom. All strategies of the Prime Minister's Man Friday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, failed to work and the saffron party had to remain content with mere eight seats.
The Congress which was the most sought after party till the former Chief Minister Shiela Dixit was alive lost deposits in all the constituencies.
Analysts have been saying that the BJP failed to give impressive performance because of its highly divisive and sectarian campaign. Even foreign media said so.
They claim that one of the main reasons for the BJPs debacle was continuous protests against the citizenship law. The Congress and the foreign media feel that the new law discriminates against Muslims and advances the nationalist agenda of reshaping India into a majoritarian Hindu nation.
The insistence of the government that National Register of Citizens would be implemented had alienated a big section of the people. But if that is true, how come the Congress which has been organising protests since December lost deposits. It should have emerged as major Opposition. Apparently, this issue at the most might have had marginal impact.
The success of Kejriwal can be attributed to two main factors. His campaign was more focused than the two national parties. He had been harping on the significant improvement he had brought in the delivery system whether it be the public hospitals, educational institutes including upgradation of infrastructure and bringing down the cost of power supply in Delhi.
One thing is clear that while Kejriwal won on the strength of his performance, the two national parties lost due to their failure to be among the people and create confidence that they are for the people.
The most unfortunate aspect is that the Congress which had ruled Delhi for about 15 years till 2013 had miserably failed to stage a comeback. "If we look at the 2019 Lok Sabha results, the Congress had performed better than the AAP.
It was speculated that the vote distribution between the Congress and the AAP would help the BJP in Assembly elections also. But it seems the contest became only between the BJP and the AAP.
The Congress had in fact failed to resurrect itself after the 2014 elections mainly because it does not have a strong leadership with vision both at the Centre and in other parts of the country.
God only knows if the party would at least now make a serious effort to come out of ashes or not. Some voices are now being heard that "all is not well with beleaguered Congress". Such comments are coming from both old and young guards of the party.
Senior leaders like Jairam Ramesh even likened Delhi defeat to coronavirus and said it was unmitigated disaster and that the Congress needs to reinvent itself. "Otherwise we are staring at irrelevance," he said.
Jyotiraditya Scindia who has been expressing his displeasure over the manner the party was functioning for the past some time also felt that there was urgent need to reinvent the party. "New thinking, new ideology and new ways of functioning," he said, was the need of the hour.
One thing that needs to be noted is that world has changed a lot, but Congress refuses to adopt itself to the changes. It has failed to throw up powerful leadership.
When Rahul Gandhi was made the AICC president, it was expected that he would revive by the party by creating sort of advisory board consisting of topmost senior leaders and form a young team of leaders to who can enthuse the cadre. But that did not happen. Rahul Gandhi failed to put in the kind of efforts he should have to take full control of the party affairs and work out strategies.
Instead, he concentrated more on taking on Modi bashing. When the party won elections in Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and now playing second fiddle to Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, a ray of hope was seen and it was felt that it would stage a comeback.
But that did not happen. Finally when it lost the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul quit the post of AICC president and there has been no real executive for the party who could set things right.
Sonia Gandhi who was asked to take back the responsibility temporarily is unable to lead the party due to her health related problems and it is being said that she too wants to be relieved of her responsibilities. The big question now is who will take up the responsibility to revive the party.
As far as the BJP was concerned the party knew that it was not an easy task. They had campaigned on national issues like CAA and abrogation of Article 370 etc and they also suffered because of lack of effective local leadership.
The party has been out of power for 22 years and it is not an easy task to get into the driver's seat. In short, the BJP and Congress need to introspect and rework on their electoral strategies.
Politics is dynamic situation and what Modi-Shah duo thought was effective in NDA 1 government cannot be blindly implemented for ever.