Today is a historic day for Delhi. In a landslide victory that surprised even the most optimistic, the people of Delhi gave a decisive vote to the Aam Admi Party (AAP – translated as ‘the common people’s party’), whose symbol is a broom to signify the sweeping away of corruption. AAP won an overwhelming 67 out of 70 seats for the State Legislative Assembly, the first time ever that such a decisive vote was ever given to any party in any state. This has without doubts been one of the biggest electoral upsets in the nation’s history, with the BJP – the party that won a large majority in the National Parliamentary election in April 2014, headed by the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi – being shockingly left with only three seats; the Congress, who had so far been dominating the national political scene, was left out with not even a single seat secured. The vote for clean politics and rejection of accusatory ones could not have been more emphatic and clearly indicates that the Delhi voter has risen above caste and religion considerations and voted for good governance.
Born out of the ‘India Against Corruption Movement’, the AAP went through a roller coaster ride since its formation, when a breakaway group of revolutionaries decided to give a political alternative to people in the country. The party was initially ridiculed for its `masked political ambitions’ and some of the leaders of the anti-corruption movement went as far as disowning them. In the very first elections they fought in Delhi, in December 2013, they got unexpected support from the Delhi people, but fell short of the majority. In a short-lived tenure of 49 days, the party worked towards good governance and making public services work.
Close and clean politics for Delhi
In this tenure, the AAP has promised to address issues that people grapple with in their everyday lives: price rise, public services, corruption, and bijli panii sadak (electricity, water and roads). While it’s too early to say whether it’s a referendum on BJP’s pro industry policies and drift to corporates since they came into power at the national level, there is no denying that the common people can see the disconnect between their everyday concerns and the grand plans announced by the BJP on industrial growth and `world class cities’. It is clear that people voted for clean politics and for the party they felt was closer to them. This is also a vote for youth – their leader, Arvind Kejriwal, is only 46 years old and the party has very young motivated enthusiastic workers.
While from the office we can hear the sounds of celebrations coming from the nearby streets, we hope for a brighter future for the city of Delhi and, we wish, for the whole country as well.