1. Arvind Kejriwal: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal has brought back his party, almost like a phoenix. After the disastrous Lok Sabha election, AAP’s Delhi victory in 2013 had started appearing like a fluke. The perception was that AAP is a party which chases the limelight only to be in news. Pushed to the corner, Kejriwal stood firm with an unshakable belief that Delhi is looking for a change. His charisma charmed the voters and he successfully convinced them that he is there for the long haul. A mellowed Kejriwal led a very positive campaign. And the numbers are phenomenal. BJP’s governance model didn’t cut ice with Delhi voters.
2. Kiran Bedi: The former IPS officer’s projection as chief ministerial candidate was a non-starter. A faction-ridden Delhi unit made its unease clear. Also, the way Bedi led the campaign proved to be beneficial for AAP. She promoted herself and her work as a police officer during her campaigns. No doubt, she is an excellent orator. But politics is a different ball game. Personality can’t supercede issues. She modelled herself as Modi and sought votes for development. But the voter had something else in mind. Her gaffes also worked in Kejriwal’s favour.
3. Strong cadre base: Ever since its debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, the AAP was hoping the Centre would call elections early in Delhi. The Centre’s delay, it seems, turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Kejriwal. AAP workers fanned out to the field laying the ground work for Kejriwal’s victory. A dedicated army of volunteers and a massive social media push changed the political landscape in Delhi. AAP demolished the perception that BJP can’t be defeated. And Kejriwal should be thankful to his workers who echoed the AAP chief’s slogan of clean politics.
4. BJP’s arrogance: After May 16 when Narendra Modi rode to power, a rejuvenated BJP scripted victories in three state polls. But soon complacency dawned in rank and file of the BJP. The arrogance was palpable.
5. Personal attacks against Kejriwal BJP leaders called Kejriwal a ‘chor’ and a ‘bhagora’, and even a Naxalite. Prime Minister Modi trashed him as no match for his persona. But the ground beneath was changing. And BJP failed to read the swell in AAP’s favour.