By Asad Mirza
The recent election in Delhi witnessed one of the most vitriolic, hate-fuelled and destructive election campaign in India. The ruling BJP made it an issue of honour and prestige, but the party failed to achieve its goal.
With one arrow BJP leaders they wanted to kill both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Muslim electorate of the city, and they failed miserably in this grand plan.
The results today have proved once again that the electorate of Delhi is not an easy lot to be fooled and Hindus and Muslims both make this city great and the heart of India.
The extent of polarisation, which was created by the BJP and its stalwarts, was seen to be believed. For a state election, the party roped in the PM and HM for canvassing, in addition to bringing a star cast of party leaders and state henchmen, known to be experts in venom spewing and creating communal divide amongst the voters on the basis of religious blackmail. But the voters of Delhi showed their mettle and ensured that the best candidate won irrespective of his/her religion.
AAP which fought the elections on the planks of performance and development was able to puncture the old balloon of the BJP which had promised ‘Sabka Vikas’, for several times but unable to deliver anything substantial.
An opposition or dissenting voices are key to a functioning and vibrant democracy. But the manner in which the BJP tried to belittle the women protest against the controversial CAA+NRC+NPR trio and brought in dietary habits to belittle a particular community, shows that it is not ready to tolerate any opposition or dissent to its acts and also its politics has no place for the minorities. Various slogans and statements by BJP functionaries and ministers were proof of the depth to which they can go to castigate the minorities of the country. In all, the HM addressed 52 public meetings and rallies in Delhi, the blue eyed boy of the PM, Bisht addressed 12 meetings and the PM himself presided over 3 public rallies, at all of which venom was spewed against the largest minority of the country, belittling their offices, but the results showed that the public knows all (ye public hai sab janti hai).
The defeat in Delhi after the loss in Jharkhand recently, where-in the party had made high decibel campaign on CAA+NRC+NPR trio and Ram mandir, the same were promised to the electorate in Delhi, too. But the Delhiites resolutely proved that these issues hold little attraction for them and by harping on them again and again the BJP is playing old tricks of polarisation. Besides proving that polarisation can help the party to a certain extent only, not again and again.
The results also showed that what worked for the party’s favour in the LS elections, had no charm for the state elections in Delhi and Jharkhand. The shrewd Indian voter has different aspirations and demands for the local and national elections.
This time, the BJP succeeded in raising its vote share by about seven percentage points to around 39% in the current polls (counting was on at the time of writing), the AAP lost barely a percentage point from its 2015 tally. The gap between the AAP and the BJP is more than 12 percentage points and the Congress too has lost nearly 5% of the vote percentage since 2015. This proves that the Delhiites stood solidly behind AAP and the rise of vote share for the BJP could be due to the switch from Congress to the BJP in certain areas.
In certain constituencies there were rumours of a three cornered contest, but the electorate saw through the game and made it a fight between AAP and the BJP. On the whole Congress also did not participated in the elections with vigour and in full steam and in some constituencies it nominated weak candidates, thus giving advantage to AAP.
Overall, the electorate of Delhi has proved once again that no political party should take its voters for granted and if you are not ready to the people and their demands, or you are hell bent on creating divisions in the country then people will not tolerate you for long.
Another thing to remember is that no community, on its own can decide the elections and thus the Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims of Delhi have showed the divisive forces that they’ll stand together and destroy their nefarious designs, if anyone is hell bent on the destroying the social fabric of the country or tinkering with its constitution or the spirit of India.