A big round of applause for the Aam Aadmi Party. The stellar performance by the newly-formed party in the Delhi Assembly Elections, months before the crucial General Elections, has left all, political pundits and opponents alike, spellbound. Another jaw-dropping event is the defeat of three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at the hands of Kejriwal. The man, whose party symbol is broom, has swept aside Sheila Dikshit right out of her office. The Congress has been pushed to third place by the AAP, which is trailing the BJP, which has got maximum seats. Anti-incumbency factor worked against the Congress in Delhi, but AAP reaped the dividends more than the BJP.
Although the Bharatiya Janata Party`s chief ministerial candidate has won big in his own constituency, Dr Harsh Vardhan should not ignore the fact that AAP`s candidate from Krishna Nagar Assembly constituency, Ishrat Ali Ansari, has managed to get more than 15,000 votes. To get even these many votes in the stronghold of Dr Harsh Vardhan for a newcomer like Ansari is something the BJP as well as Congress should not take lightly at all. Notably, Congress` candidate and former BJP councillor Dr VK Monga, a well-known personality in the area, could get just more than 21,000 votes.
Also Read: Delhi Assembly Elections: Full Results
Moreover, those who are questioning Narendra Modi`s impact on the Delhi elections should understand that it was the Bharatiya Janata Party`s prime ministerial candidate`s charisma that helped the BJP, lead by a low-profile candidate like Dr Harsh Vardhan, to get maximum seats in Delhi. Had Modi not been in the scene, there is a probability that AAP would have blown BJP too and gained majority.
The BJP and Congress should learn a few lessons from the emergence of AAP.
First, never underestimate an aam aadmi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has rightly taken note of it and tweeted: "Notes to self for 2014 - never underestimate the underdog/newcomer with a fresh face and message." Notably, both the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly Elections are scheduled in Jammu and Kashmir next year.
The BJP and Congress not just underestimated Kejriwal and AAP, but outrightly and crudely rejected their presence. Sheila ji has been defeated in her backyard by none other than Kejriwal. AAP deviated from being a traditional political party and opened the doors for `mango people` and hence tasted the success.
Second, change is the need of the hour. If the political experts belonging to the BJP and Congress think that the parties could befool public with hollow promises, the handsome margin to AAP is an answer to them. We, the Indians, are tired of corruption and scams.
Third, never ignore youngsters. Delhi broke all previous records when it registered over 65 percent polling on December 04. According to the Election Commission, a huge turnout by young voters swung the polling percentage to a new high. It seems those who were beaten up by police during the protests against government at the time of Delhi gang-rape case took their revenge by not pressing their thumb on the `hand` (Congress` election symbol).
Fourth, virtual campaigning makes an impact. When the Aam Aadmi Party joined social media for getting support from youth, political pundits said that those who tweet on social media don`t go to polling stations to vote. The result on December 08 proves them wrong completely. The AAP left no stone unturned in gathering support from the percentage of the population on Twitter and Facebook. The virtual campaigning turned into votes for AAP, for sure.
Fifth, faces do not win, work does. The defeat of well-known faces of the BJP as well as the Congress is definitely a bitter pill to swallow for the parties. The defeat of Congress` stalwarts such as Sheila Dikshit and AK Walia, and BJP`s Arti Mehra suggest that Delhiites are not in awe of politicians, who are seen on TV debates, or hold big positions. What work they perform in their constituency is their litmus test. At the end of the day, what pushes voters to go out and cast their ballot is their wish to bring a change, and that too for good.