Delhi's walls were flooded with 'Chalo Modi Ke Saath' posters. But, the streets reverberated with "Kejriwal Paanch Saal" slogans. Now, the much-anticipated Delhi verdict is out and it is now clear that the people refused to go with Modi ke saath. They prefered to follow the pied piper IRS official, known for his strategies that are inscrutable to the politicians of the conventional mold.
The people have turned the calculations of Venkaiah Naidu, who asked them to wait for the exact polls, not exit polls, topsy turvy. This is the beginning of a new political trend and even Aam Admi Party would not have imagined the extent of the sweep of its Jhaadu. It was a veritable tsunami that swept off BJP and the Congress. That the BJP could not even get the opposition status speaks of how much the voters trusted AAP.
The Congress has scored a zilch. The statement of senior Congress leader Manisankar Aiyer that it was happy that Kejriwal had stalled the Modi Juggernaut speaks volumes about the total bancruptsy of the 129 year-old Congress Party. There is nothing for the party to introspect, because there is nothing to look at, literally and figuratively. Even as the story of its rout was becoming public, the clamour for "Priyanka Lao Congress Bachao" grew shriller. This perhaps is the last nail on the coffin of the badly battered Congress Party.
Did the BJP err in choosing Kiran Bedi as its CM candidate? Kiran Bedi, who fought the political system both as an officer and after retirement, joined the same conventional political system and gave speeches similar to those of conventional politicians. This did not go well with the voters of Delhi. The youth and the middle class wondered why Kiran Bedi was in the BJP. This has become a negative factor for the BJP. The internal bickerings and the total non-cooperation of the party cadre and leaders to Kiran Bedi have irretrievably damaged the party. Leaders like Manoj Tiwari went vocal against the party's decision to foist Kiran Bedi, but were suppressed. All this failed to enthuse the voters.
In the final analysis, the party's success run since May 2014 has been stalled. Why did this happen? Wherein lies the folly?
Why did the party that won all the seven LS seats flounder so badly? These are the questions that Amit Shah has to contend with. Whatever happened to Amit Shah's famed and unbeatable strategy? Why did it fall flat before the aam admi? Is Kiran Bedi alone responsible for the debacle or has the BJP failed to gauge the public mood? These questions are bitter pills for the BJP to swallow.
The staggering victory will surely bring cheer to the Team Kejriwal. But, it has also laid bare the high expectations on Kejriwal. The expectations range from pucca houses to scam-free rule. Every step of his would be under severe public scrutiny. The people want these steps to bring in change. They want the CM, his ministers and MLAs to solve their problems post-haste. The Assam Gana Parishad had registered similar victory in Assam, but had failed to live up to the people's aspirations.
Kejriwal stepped down in 2013 after 49-days of rule. The Delhi voter has forgiven his mistake and handed him a wholly one-sided victory. This time around, he cannot debus midway and scoot away as the people have closed all his escape routes by chanting "Kejriwal Paanch Saal". If he manages to live up to the aspirations of the people in these five years, Kejriwal would become the harbinger of a new era in Indian democracy. If he fails, there would be a big question mark over the birth of future alternative political parties.
-S Gopinath Reddy