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Opinion

The meaning of the capital success of AAP | Editorial HT – editorials

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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) retained power in Delhi after a very close election, but in the end, quite easily, it became a rare holder to keep its participation in the vote of a crushing election (the party’s participation in 2015 was 54.3% and is around 53.5% this time) to the next. In fact, the most recent parallel might be the performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 national elections, where it improved its participation in the 2014 vote of 31% by about six percentage points. Of course, the BJP also managed to increase its participation in the seat, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 62 of the 70 seats in the Delhi assembly this time, compared to 67 last time. This minor decline can be attributed more to the nature of the contests, multipolar but with a hegemonic pole in national elections, and strongly bipolar in Delhi, than anything else.

And like the BJP won 2019 with the image and charisma of Narendra Modi, and its wellness programs, the AAP won 2020 thanks to the personality of Arvind Kejriwal: none of the other parties presented candidates for the post of prime minister. – and their own wellness plans. In 2019, the fact that national elections are not state elections worked for Modi and the BJP. And in 2020, the fact that state elections are not national elections has worked for Kejriwal and the AAP.

There are four general conclusions of the result and Kejriwal’s return to power. The first two are what victory is not.

One, in recent years, it has become the norm to see any loss of BJP as a template on how the party can be defeated nationally. It has been clear for some time that the BJP is vulnerable at the state level. It should also, for now, be equally clear that defeating the party at the national level will take something else, something that none of the parties or combinations seem to possess at this time. Interestingly, if there is any learning here, it is actually for the BJP. Like its opponents have discovered that national elections are not state elections, the BJP is discovering that state elections are not national elections. And just as their opponents have to write a national narrative that captures the imagination of the electorate, the BJP must propose local narratives and, more importantly, associations, that works. In the case of elections in states like Delhi, where the party is not in power, that includes finding and depositing faith in strong local leaders who can present themselves as viable alternatives.

Two, no one should make the mistake of seeing this as a vote against the policies and laws of the BJP, including the Jammu and Kashmir reorganization law, or the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA. If the BJP’s effort to nationalize and polarize, the elections worked only to a limited degree (the percentage of party votes increased from 32.3% to 38.5%), so did the liberal narrative of presenting this election as one of two ideas Very divergent from India. Kejriwal, in particular, avoided being involved in a debate over contentious issues, such as protests against the CAA in Shaheen Bagh. His approach was centrist.

And this is the third point. The Indian electorate loves centrists, who lean toward the welfare side. Unfortunately, there are few centrist parties nationwide. The continuous decline of Congress, evident again in these elections where their participation in the votes fell from 9.7% to 4.3%, has created a national vacuum. The situation of Congress itself is a corollary of this (which is not a separate point in itself is perhaps a reflection of how low the party has fallen). Still, the party has it easy in some way because its options are clear: zero seats in 2015 and zero again in 2020 means that the party can safely change everything (and everyone) without worrying about things getting worse.

Finally, the victory of the AAP in Delhi means that the geographical footprint of the BJP remains limited to 13 states and about 40% of the population of India. The elections are a victory for the AAP to assume the power of the BJP, but they are also a victory for the people of Delhi and, by extension, for the people of India. Delhi voters have refused to polarize and voted for a government that, they believe, will do the right thing for them and their city. Likewise, however, it is a victory for the electoral process in India, despite unfounded fears that electronic voting machines will be compromised in some way, and even for the BJP, because any reiteration of the democratic credentials of the The country will only serve to establish the country’s commitment. The hegemonic political force, often accused of using power and money to bring elections to democracy.

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