“It’s like Doomsday,” groaned 36-year-old Sakshi Mehrotra as she waited for her coffee to arrive at Starbucks, Select City Walk, Saket. As the AAP wave swept the city on Tuesday, in Mehrotra’s circle, it left a ripple of disquiet. “My friends on Facebook say they want to move to another city. To be ruled by the jhadoo, and that Mufflerman!” she said, voice curling with disdain.
“At least with the BJP, Delhi was going somewhere. They had promised to remove the BRT. Every day I am stuck on the BRT, and I curse Sheila Dikshit each time.”
Delhi’s toniest shopping malls are where you find people like her, the not-so aam aadmi, fretting over traffic jams, angel investors and how far their city is from being “world-class.” There is no sense in these airconditioned environs that this too now is AAP territory – Malviya Nagar assembly constituency was won by Somnath Bharti.
“This means the end of development for Delhi,” predicted 20-year-old Vikrant Chadha, a marketing management student, who owns two cars and a Daytona motorbike. He voted BJP too, because “Modi got petrol prices down, and that’s good for me.”
His friend, 18-year-old Aditi Sharma, agreed that the AAP had nothing to offer to the middle class and the upper middle class. “They won’t do anything for us, only for the poor and the BPL. They are bad for business and investment,” she said.
At the nearby MGM Metropolitan Mall, 48-year-old chartered accountant Praveen Khandelwal was bewildered by this mammoth victory.
He does not believe Kejriwal and his people have the administrative acumen to run Delhi, but was willing to give them a chance. “There is hope that they will run a clean government. And everyone, including me, will be behind them,” he said.
Waiting for her daughter at the Cinnabon joint, DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj, 40-year-old fashion designer Bonnie Grover is an example of the fourth: the upper-class Congress voter who has switched to AAP. “The AAP is refreshing because they are full of educated people, who can make a difference. It’s a break from the Gandhis, as well as from Modi, who is too Hindu for me,” she said.
So what lost the BJP the election? “Kiran Bedi,” says Twinkle Alagh, a housewife out shopping at DLF Promenade. She voted for AAP because, as her daughter explained, “She would have put an end to Delhi’s nightlife. We were sick of her lecturing.” But many remained unconvinced that Arvind Kejriwal has any relevance in the lives of Delhi’s rich. “I have no expectations from him,” Sakshi Mehrotra said, readying for another long wait on the BRT.