Delhi Results: The People have Voted for New Politics

Aam Aadmi Party – 67; BJP – three. Almost completely unbelievable. Without warning, without notice, a super cyclone has swept across Delhi’s political landscape.
The people of Delhi have rejected the politics of old – the politics of crony capitalism; the politics of nepotism; the politics of corruption, of "baksheesh"; the politics of the Mughal durbar; the politician-bureaucrat-police-business-criminal nexus; the VIP-Zulu security culture.
They have opted for a "new politics" – politics marked by good governance; politics that lays emphasis on socio-economic development; politics that gives a place in the sun to the common man.  
Along with AAP, democracy has triumphed. India’s electoral democracy has once again shown its strength and resilience. It has shown that the people are supreme. It has shown that power flows from the buttons of the electronic voting machine.
In the 1984 Lok Sabha election, the people of Karnataka gave the Congress (I) 24 out of 28 seats. Less than a year later the voters gave the Janata Party an absolute majority (139/224). They voted for a strong Centre and for a popular government to run the state.
Arvind Kejriwal’s previous track record does not justify the massive mandate given to him by the people. In his 49 days as Delhi’s Chief Minister in 2013-14, he had adopted an agitationist approach; the politics of dharna. He had paralysed Delhi’s administration by taking to the streets. He has now promised to act with humility; to avoid confrontation with the Centre; to cooperate for the development of Delhi. The metro is completely dependent on the Centre and cannot survive without the aid and assistance of the central government.
The crushing defeat has come as a huge shock for the BJP. In hindsight, its leaders appear to have got everything wrong. They got the timing of the elections wrong; they were wrong to have foisted Kiran Bedi on the BJP’s Delhi unit – she lost badly; they went horribly wrong in conducting a vicious campaign of personal vendetta against Kejriwal and calling him names like naxalite, anarchist, chor and bhagora.
The Congress party has been wiped out in Delhi. Junior leaders have accepted responsibility for the debacle, but it is time for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to step down gracefully and let the party rejuvenate itself in due course. They have much to think over. In fact, both the BJP and the Congress will do well to conduct a chinthan-manthan and hope that some drops of wisdom will emerge from the churning.
After indirectly calling him names in a campaign marked by the politics of the gutter, the prime minister has reached out to Arvind Kejriwal. He has congratulated him and has spoken with him warmly. These are signs of political maturity on both the sides and augur well for the future of the people of Delhi.
Unfortunately, the strength of our democracy has been limited to electoral politics and the battle of the ballot box in recent decades. Elected representatives shout, jump into the well of the House, boycott the proceedings, get into fisticuffs and adopt all possible ploys to stall the proceedings. The role of Parliament and the State Assemblies is to legislate, but that does not happen. Perhaps the new Delhi Assembly will show the way.
It is a cathartic moment in Indian history – a paradigm shift in the manner in which our democracy is run. Will the political leaders have the wisdom to see that the people are pushing them in a new direction? Will we see the dawn of a new politics? We will have to wait for the answers to those questions.
#Arvind Kejriwal, #Narendra Modi, #BJP vs AAP, #Kiran Bedi
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