Explained: How each can read verdict — and misread, toohttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-each-can-read-verdict-and-misread-too/

Explained: How each can read verdict — and misread, too

Amrith Lal explains the various aspects of Delhi elections, which gave a decisive mandate to Arvind Kejriwal led AAP

Aam Aadmi Party

* Stunning comeback establishes it as The Alternative to BJP in Delhi. Vote share up from 29.5% in 2013 and 32% in 2014 to 54% in 2015.

* Successfully got rid of its dharna tag, moved to Delhi Dialogue and governance. Sweep signals some recovery of middle-class support that voted Modi in May 2014.

* Expands party across rural Delhi; being first to defeat BJP after 2014, national profile soars


* Preferred place for Dalits and Muslims, who together constitute over 29% of Delhi’s voters, and the city’s underclass including rickshaw pullers, auto drivers, push-cart vendors, new migrant workers

* Massive mandate could foster arrogance, complacency

* Law-making in Assembly easy, could be done without debate. But unfriendly Centre could block legislation setting stage for confrontation

* AAP will need help — legislative and financial — from Centre to deliver. Will have to work on its negotiating skills to implement governance agenda

* Lack of political and legislative experience could put MLAs in trouble. Any indiscretion will dent party’s image — 67 could turn out to be too many for leadership to mind

Bhartiya Janta Party

* Core vote base in Delhi remains with party at 32%, just 1% down from 2013 Assembly poll.
*  Next big election, in Bihar, slated for 2015 end. Time to regroup, reassess

* Failure of Plan Bedi could force inner party debates to resurface.

* People want Modi in Centre, AAP in Delhi

* Big dent to Brand Modi. Amit Shah’s organisational and election management skills take a beating.

* Diminishing returns on Modi-centric campaign.

* Vote share in Delhi fell by 14% from 46% in May general election.

* Infighting in Delhi unit exposed.

*  That Modi-Shah combine is not invincible could enthuse supporters, kickstart revival

*  Delhi polls saw Janata Parivar, Left, Mamata join hands to oppose BJP. Congress not main target for non-BJP parties, may help change voter perception

* Wiped out in a state where it ran govt for three terms until 2013. Party in free fall: vote share down from 25% in 2013 to 15% in 2014 to 10% in 2015

* Core base has shifted to AAP, new secular and pro-poor outfit

* More evidence that Rahul Gandhi’s leadership not translating into anything tangible.

* Poor, minorities no longer find Congress as their home

* Seen out-of-tune with the demands of the city, especially the youth.

What Delhi Tells Nation

* Strong and effective leadership attracts voters.

* Voters prefer positive agendas. Modi won with development agenda in 2014, Kejriwal offered vision for Delhi in 2015 and won. AAP ran anti-BJP campaign in 2014 and lost while BJP fought with an anti-Kejriwal agenda in 2015 to lose.

* New urban politics that transcends caste, community, ethnicity, religious divides with a political and governance vision is viable. AAP is a break from old forms of patronage politics but it isn’t easy to replicate Delhi in the rest of India or even cities

* Congress leadership unable to stall its decline. AAP could take its place in Delhi


* Trend from 2014 continues. BJP is the pole of Indian politics, not Congress any more. Opposition politics now built against the BJP