By Bhaskar Upadhyaya
First Modi, Now Kejriwal! The message is loud and clear – people voted for hope, hope for a better tomorrow. But this time, hope was not rendra Modi, but Arvind Kejriwal. This decade of Indian political history has showcased the domince of political persolity over political party. The slogan that you could overhear during campaigns in Delhi was “Modi for PM, Kejriwal for CM”. But did Delhi vote AAP to power because they ran out of options? Was Kiran Bedi a wrong choice by BJP as their CM candidate? Did Congress lose the elections even before the elections? The questions are debatable, but you cannot ignore the fact that AAP’s political manifesto did touch the right chord with the general population of the capital city. Their ambitions were spot on – reduction of electricity tariffs to solving water problems, providing WiFi to promise of woman safety, and most importantly explaining to their voters how they planned to go about achieving the same. Their promises are herculean and the next five years are going to be either a make-it or break-it scerio for them. But, one particular thing which worked wonders with the middle class was the image of Arvind Kejriwal as the crusader against corruption. Right from petty corruption in offices to scams in government policies, people saw he had an effective plan to lead AAP and fight this mece. This is was one of the very few positive things that voters remembered from his previous tenure as CM for 49 days.
Arvind Kejriwal had shook the Indian political scerio in 2013 Delhi elections by decimating the then ruling Congress party to win 28 seats and defeating CM Sheila Dikshit in her much coveted New Delhi seat; but this time what has happened is something that this country had never witnessed. Kejriwal led AAP to win 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi. Congress which had ruled Delhi for the last 15 years couldn’t even win a single seat. BJP couldn’t even win enough seats to secure the position of Leader of Opposition. This election result is nothing less than a landmark to be etched in history, a fear cry for democracy, a food for thought!
But, the problems which our country is facing today are extremely complex, much beyond the comprehension of petty money making politicians. We need decision makers, strong decision makers to lead us to progress and development. Erstwhile Manmohan Singh era witnessed its absence and we felt this dire need. We saw hope in rendra Modi and voted him to absolute majority. His strong persolity reflected in his speeches and that gave us hope; his positive track record in Gujarat fueled this hope. This time in Delhi, people saw optimism in Arvind Kejriwal. What lies ahead for these leaders is to deliver. The responsibility is immense, the process is extremely complex and what voters see is only the results. As far as Indian democracy is concerned, positioning slogans like “Abki baar Modi sarkaar” (This time Modi’s government) and “5 saal Kejriwal” (5 years Kejriwal) which project the leader’s capability are seem to be in fashion and actually working; and party’s credibility is taking the back seat during this process. We as a democracy are taking a huge amount of risk by voting to power with such absolute majority; sans an opposition party in the assembly, democracy is a grave risk. But we can now only hope that this paves way to enormous success in terms of development. May these leaders perform and lead India!
Arvind Kejriwal’s spectacular come back to power with a clean sweep of such magnitude clearly reflects people’s trust in this man to make Delhi the tiol capital of our dreams.