By Ruchi Bambha:
December 8, 2013 jolted not only the political parties and the people interested in politics, but also flabbergasted those who had kept an indifferent approach towards the “fight for chair” melodrama. The news on the television resonated only one thing “The end of an era”, the 15 years of congress party’s legacy came to a halt when it secured only 8 seats out of 70 in the Delhi assembly polls. The BJP secured 32 seats and the Aam Aadmi party (hereafter mentioned as AAP) 28 seats, with none of them constitutionally being fit to rule alone.
The defeat of Congress not only marked an end to Sheila Dixit’s three term rule but also highlighted AAP’s strong and irrefutable potential to present a good show. AAP, a party formed only a few months ago with the broom as its party symbol, went all the way to make a “Vrrrooom” for itself amid the eminent parties. While Ms. Dixit has addressed the media saying the reason for the defeat will be analyzed, there are a few reasons which might have let to the great fall of the party.
When you look at the turn of events, it is interesting to note that the AAP defeated Congress by a whopping 22,000 votes, the same party which was once not even considered fit to be called a party by the older and prominent parties, Congress and BJP. AAP’s peaceful protests and rallies against corruption were met with “latthi charge” and water cannons. The fact that a nouveau confederation was trying to touch chords in the lives of common people and was ready to fight against the giants of the country’s policy makers drew a lot of attention. The people who were bereft of hope following the infinite number of scams, scandals, corruption cases and poor governance by the UPA at the center vented out their frustration in the state assembly polls with the congress’s defeat in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. When Anna Hazare spearheaded the Lokpal Bill along with eminent people like Arvind Kejriwal, people could only see a messiah in the AAP, they visualized it as an alternative to the rotten government.
Recapitulating the 15 years of Congress’ governance in Delhi, we do see development in terms of transportation, as the Delhi Metro and comfortable DTC buses eased the travelling problem of many Delhiites. The water scarcity and electricity problems were combated relatively in a better manner. However, we cannot miss on the classic example of misgovernance when the Common Wealth Games showcased or in fact exposed the deep seated corruption underlying in the whole process. The CWG became symptomatic of the Delhi government’s inefficiency.
Also, the issues of women safety were met with much negligence. The number of rapes accounted every year in Delhi is figuratively touching the sky making it one the most unsafe places on earth for women. The 16th December case, when one of the daughters of the nation was brutally raped and beaten and the country was demanding justice for her, all we could hear was a blame game between Sheila Dixit and the Home Ministry, each one accusing the other of negligence only to further aggrandize the pain of the people. It is almost impossible to visualize a safe night out for a woman who is alone and not in some big group.
Looking at the economic front, the increase in the fuel prices and the price rise of requisite vegetables like onions left people in a disarray. At this particular time, when Aam Aadmi Party (the name resonating such to extinguish plight of a common man and heralding his power) came making gigantic and passionate promises, the people spotted the bellwether in Kejriwal. They saw a Christ in him who would capacitate the idea of the redemption of the nation. The hurt nation ramified the votes between BJP, the other experienced party who had been hard hitting at the Congress’ policies appeared as a strong contender under the leadership of Narendra Modi, and AAP which was new and inexperienced yet worth trusting because of its anti-corruption policies.
However, what people missed to notice was that though their anger was by far genuine but their hopes that AAP would stabilize everything was not. AAP’s promises, as sociologist S.Vishwanathan says, are “too crowded”. Their promise to reduce electricity bills by 50%, when the state itself buys giving the suppliers a profit of 300%, seems very distant. Moreover, their promise to reduce prices when the whole country is under high inflation looks like some whimsical dream. The idea to make 700 liters of water free to the families though sounds sweet in the our ears but seems far-fetched when the hold of the tanker mafia in Delhi is so strong that even old and well established parties could not uproot them.
The idea is to be optimistic amid the slagging political framework. The people wanted to free themselves from the reigning legacy and adopt a party which caters to their needs and connects with them.With Congress, they saw intaglio ways of governance, with BJP they see a dynamism and with AAP they see simplicity. The fall of the reign was inevitable at this juncture .The damage was done and thus it led to the demise of Congress.
Life is all about learning from yesterday, living for today and hoping for tomorrow.