Since last November, things are not well within BJP. Centralisation of power has widened the gaps in the party. Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah have become sole decision makers in the party and government whereas other leaders and ministers are not even taken into consideration. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) too are not much happy with trio and their style of working. Groupism in BJP has divided it. Delhi elections have widened the gap within. A confused and divided Bharatiya Janata Party, which was riding high after the landslide victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and consecutive wins in the Assembly elections in four states, has been flattened by the two-year-old Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly elections.
In 2014, the BJP seized power at Delhi with plenty of undertakings. None of the promises materialised so far. Common man, especially poor and middle class blindly believed those promises and voted for BJP but its performance is proving to be very disappointing, so far. Every calculation of BJP top brass went wrong due to erroneous priorities, leading to this extraordinary catastrophe. Their first wrong move was ignoring the Delhi electorates during President’s rule, they are in power at the centre and can address the concerns of 60 per cent of electorates, especially the poor and middle class people. Instead, BJP misused this power to delay the poll process in Delhi, so they could totally focus on Maharashtra, J&K, Jharkhand and Haryana polls. In short, they had taken Delhi for granted which proved to be a bigger blunder. Delhi results also highlight the importance of a united opposition where votes do not get split for whatever reason and merely retaining vote share does not help.
Moreover, BJP had no locally accepted CM-face, no positive Manifesto, only anti-AK personal attacks, in-fighting among Delhi BJP leaders, over-use of MPs and ministers, no prior planning, no assembly elections earlier, over-use of Modi face which are some of the reasons the party tasted the dirt in Delhi. AAP’s sure success are due to its strong CM face, three months long Delhi Dialogue process, clear 70-point people-evolved agenda/manifesto, heavy use of social media, underdog-sympathy of voters, close connection with the poorer masses, better candidates’ selection, advanced candidates’ selection, apology for resignation repeated, entire national AAP force working hard, larger volunteer force, creative use of original music and flash mobs and local issues which customised to each constituency and communicated strongly.
The BJP roped in 120 MPs, including several Central Ministers and chief ministers to target AAP and Kejriwal but the plan failed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed five rallies in the national capital, kept on accusing Kejriwal of not doing enough without coming up with his party’s blueprint for the national capital.
Modi and BJP leaders called Kejriwal anarchist, Naxalites, bhagoda (runaway) and dharna expert which sent out the message that the party was only interested in name calling. BJP published cartoons in newspapers on the U-turns by Kejriwal and it hit the hardest when the party called him belonging to the ‘updravi gothra’. Another advertisement used caricatures of Kejriwal’s children and even had Anna Hazare in a photo frame with a garland on it which signalled that he was dead. Such advertisement were turned around by the AAP and used to counter BJP. The BJP also asked 35 questions to Kejriwal on U-turns made by him on his poll promises and targeting him for leaving the government in 49 days. When Kejriwal called the party for a debate, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi said that they would debate in the Delhi Assembly. Modi’s failure to control his own MPs who were allegedly forcing people to convert into Hinduism across the country and calling it ‘Ghar Wapsi’ created a lot of anger amongst the people. He also failed to curb attacks on Church hurting the sentiment of Christians which resulted in the alienation of voters. His MPs also went on to the extent of asking Hindu women to produce four children, and even upto10 children in order to protect the religion.
Certainly, BJP and Modi have to introspect themselves to know the pulse of voters. The way AAP knocked down BJP in Delhi election is result of the fact that BJP is playing divisive politics. People of Delhi really deserves an applaud for showing the country that true power lies in the hands of common people. They can change the course of divisive and polarising politics. In the past few months, BJP has done nothing more than steering up controversies and messing up with preamble which was not so democratic. People of the country generally from Delhi are fed up with the queer style of functioning of the Prime Minister Modi, ever since he assumed power. After its humiliating defeat in Delhi polls, BJP admitted that it is a “big setback” and the party will soon introspect behind the dismal showing.
It is long overdue defeat of false promises! Every failure is a stepping stone to success. However, this is not failure, BJP being an old tradition party has seen all ups and downs. This is also like one. Political parties if defeated have to bow down its head for people’s verdict.