If there is an award for political immaturity, I will nominate AAP for that . But that said, I have to give them a standing ovation for changing the fundamentals of election politics in India .
Gutsy all the way
AAP won in Delhi . Then they left in 49 days – which irked many (including me). And then they decided to field more candidates than Congress and BJP. Vast majority of those candidates are political unknowns – yet they believed in a common cause (anti-corruption) and fearlessly fought the battle . I am pretty sure most will lose – but they will lose with heads held high . Common man figured out they can be the change they want to be
AAP came from nowhere – and built up a massive momentum nationwide . Political immaturity made sure they couldn’t capitalize – but they are well set for next Loksabha elections . They were pretty organized in using their volunteer resources to drum up votes
Picking the right Goliath
Arvind Kejriwal is the proverbial David . He needed to pick a Goliath – Modi , Sonia or Rahul . I think he made the best choice possible by fighting against Modi in Varanasi .
This move immediately marginalized an already weak Rahul and Sonia . And Though Varanasi is a BJP friendly place – Modi and AK are both outsiders there . You can’t fight lions in their den – you will just die . But you can fight realistically by drawing the lion outside its den . That is exactly what AK did with Modi .
He might still lose – but he will have enough popularity to carry it for AAP in Delhi state polls . If he wins – then he can question Modi’s credibility to run the country . It is win win either way .
There is surely a flip side . AK was so obsessed with Varanasi that he was barely in the other 425 places where AAP was contesting . Same is true for their other leaders . So in the grand scheme – this might be a failed political strategy for AAP to not do optimal resource allocation .
Most often – there are no real debates in Indian politics . It’s traditionally a game of empty one way promises . AAP changed the game – they made sure other parties had to take stances on issues . That is probably the biggest positive for India in this election . Not only did political parties express their stances on issues – common man felt they could ask questions too .
AK also set a precedent of answering all questions from the press . His answers were not always concise or good or logical – but he did answer everything the best he could . That forced more leaders of other parties to get out of their comfort zones and give real answers . Few more elections of this kind – and Indian politics might look quite different .
When the dust settles
Tomorrow night US time , the results will start pouring in . Modi probably will become PM although a lot of non-Hindu Indians would hate that .
I can only hope that
1. BJP leaves it’s election rhetoric on religion and focuses instead on development of the country as a whole when they form the government
2. AAP wins Delhi state elections and gets some experience running a state and making principled compromises
3. Real debates continue to happen and the citizens of India hold their leaders to a higher standard
4. In the event of hung parliament , leaders of the parties show some strength in forming long term alliances for a stable government
One thought on “Win or lose , AAP has changed elections in India for good”
Vijay, Good balanced view. AK was probably was focused on bringing down of symbols Corruption and Identify based politics. He knew this was not the election for AAP to get 272 seats. Victory in Amethi and Varnasi was important to message the country you can run campaigns without black money, liquors and bring down political biggies.