Kejriwal’s mandate is massive but so are his expectations

The Aam Aadmi Party swept the national capital winning 67 out of 70 seats.

Written by Vishnu Varma | New Delhi | Updated: February 11, 2015 8:26 am
Aam aadmi party, arvind kejriwal win, AAP arvind kejriwal, Arvind kejriwal, AAP win, delhi assembly elections, delhi assembly polls, delhi polls, delhi chief minister, delhi CM, delhi news, indian express A giant poster of Arvind Kejriwal outside the Aam Aadmi Party office (Source: Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Not a long time ago, Arvind Kejriwal, then known as a fiery anti-corruption crusader, had announced his entry into politics at a press conference in New Delhi. That day, he had announced his intention to introduce a new kind of political discourse in the country. Naturally, it was brushed off by many. A party that Kejriwal started with a motley group of supporters in 2012 today reached its zenith when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) swept across the national capital winning a mandate that none would have ventured to guess and equally demolishing two established national parties. From a party which struggled to maintain a running cadre of workers, today its volunteers have filled the streets of Delhi.

(Read: Uddhav says Delhi debacle is Modi’s defeat)

Barring a whitewash in the 2014 general elections, what has worked for the AAP is its  continued commitment to the fight against corruption and its affinity to stick to local issues. The entire election campaign has seen the AAP workers maintaining a close rapport with residents in each constituency and conducting ‘mohalla-sabhas’ (neighbourhood meetings) — something which both the Congress and BJP failed to do. While the BJP focused much of its energy on why Kejriwal ran away from power in 2013, the AAP leader stuck to the local issues and provided solutions to the problems of every day Delhiites.

(Read: Opinion: BJP, is this why you lost?)

The support of the youth cannot be separated from the AAP’s landslide win. While many of Delhi’s youth sang praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 general elections, the same youth supported Kejriwal en-masse this time. Impromptu dances and flash mobs were a highlight of the AAP campaign. Kejriwal’s promises of free wi-fi and employment opportunities were aimed at garnering youth support.

But more than anything, it has been the combination of Kejriwal’s rather charismatic leadership and a positive campaign that the party ran on the basic issues of ‘bijli, paani and sadak’ (power, water and roads) which propelled its success in these elections. Accompanied by slick marketing and out-of-the-box ideas like impromptu radio spots, it was evident right from the start that the AAP was making rapid inroads into every community.

Today, Kejriwal and his 66 MLAs have the right to celebrate. But from tomorrow onwards, their work begins to satisfy and fulfill the huge promises that the party have made to Delhi voters. Their mandate is massive, but so are the expectations of them. Kejriwal will do well to remember that.

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  1. I
    Feb 10, 2015 at 9:22 pm
    It is clear from the results of Delhi election that the mentality of the average voter has never changed even after 66 years independence and that they expect a government to give all amenities , whether it is water, electricity or bus and train travel, absolutely free irrespective of the present day cost of servicing it. Let us wait along with Delhiites how Kejriwal and his cronies fulfill these promises without indirectly burdening them. To a lay man like me foreboding is all over the wall that nobody forgets his usual self. That time is not far when Kejriwal is back on Delhi grounds and streets , like a true communist, against the Centre asking funds for creation of his Utopia!
    1. P
      Feb 11, 2015 at 5:36 am
      Its both the AAP and to some extent BJP.
      1. S
        Feb 11, 2015 at 6:45 am
        Socialism zindabad is what the young and uninitiated have brought upon in Delhi!! End of the day there are no free lunches and no quick fixes. Just because a fresh face like AAP comes along and says every thing can become free and promises utopia for every one doesnt make it so...Delhi will learn this the hard way.
        1. Nem Singh
          Feb 10, 2015 at 6:59 pm
          Also need some other things to got ‘bijli, paani and sadak’ (power, water and roads) which propelled its success in these elections. But its a time to thing for the people who do personal politics. This is not a issue that modi defeated by Kajary but the issue is that who guard the people by serving politics ...........
          1. J
            Feb 11, 2015 at 1:42 am
            Free Water! Free House! Free WiFi & Free Wife!! .. how can they loose?
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