Robert Orben, the speech writer for Former US President Gerald Ford, once asked, “Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?” Dear Orben, I currently have that feeling.
By now, it is well known that the recent poll threw up a hung assembly in Delhi. No single party is in a position to stake claim for forming the government on its own. The BJP declared yesterday, that it is passing up the opportunity as it didn’t have the requisite numbers. Next up for the Lieutenant General, Najeeb Jung, is a rendezvous with Arvind Kejriwal, the man whose party stood next to BJP in the overall tally.
Having the majority is one thing, but possessing people’s mandate is the real thing. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), surpassing neutral observer’s expectations although may not have the majority, but it is no rocket science to decode that they have the mandate of Delhi’s citizens. In a way, this resembles the 2000 election of George W. Bush (Jnr.), when he won the US Presidency despite trailing Democrat Al Gore in popular votes.
However, not appearing to jump the gun, it is fair to state that AAP deserves to form the next government. Kejriwal, on his part has steadfastly maintained that he will neither support, nor seek the support of other parties. But whether that’s his final stance or not, remains to be seen and this predicament indeed is my primary concern.
In the present scenario, the National capital is bound to go to another round of polls. Now, holding fresh elections is no small deal is agreed. It involves huge logistics least of which involves tremendous expenditure and resources. But, should that deter us from seeking a government capable of standing on its own legs?
Even if a government is formed on the basis of outside support, it is for obvious reasons, a sitting duck. Arriving at the stage with a promise to cleanse the system, AAP needs to be accorded due plaudits for its achievements and equally, brickbats for its failure. If in the event that the party hides behind a coalition, how else can it be held accountable? One can objectively evaluate the performance if and only if the party makes its own decisions. The least I expect therefore is that the confidence reposed in the newest party on the block, by the people of Delhi be repaid in full.
Indeed, it is real pity that any potential re-poll is not a run-off, but a fresh round inclusive of the rejected parties (read Congress.) A run-off would have been a good reflection of the people’s clearest preference. Having said, AAP should have no qualms over the upcoming elections, as we know the direction in which the hot air is currently blowing. But then, Indian politics or for that matter politics in general doesn’t conform to any predictions. Does it?