AAP quake II has left destruction in its wake, leaving the debris of the BJP and effectively burying the Congress. Multiple post mortems will follow, but they may be superfluous, because in cautioning their own workers and supporters against the sin of pride, the top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party have already diagnosed the disease afflicting the BJP. And the debacle only re-establishes that without radical change in its structure and at the top, voters will not invest in the Congress.
This election is like a statutory warning to tall-standing leaders, cautioning them against sticking their heads too far over the parapet. Narendra Modi has taken it on the chin, courteously congratulating Arvind Kejriwal, but his image, which won the general election for the BJP, has taken a body blow and its net asset value has plummeted. This can be read as a vote against campaigns that are in your face and in your hair. Shamelessly bloated publicity budgets, ad hominem attacks, star campaigners para-dropped into the capital from all over the country and the complacency of the party’s top management alienated the voter. The party’s local leadership felt passed over as a chief ministerial candidate and a whole campaign apparatus was installed over their heads. With the BJP reduced to 4.3 per cent of the Delhi assembly, the sense of unstoppable inevitability that the Modi wave created nationwide has been lost.
Meanwhile, the Congress has vanished into a black hole, erased from the city it had ruled for three terms. Finally, perhaps, its workers and office-bearers will find occasion to set aside the eternal verities of family and tradition and accept that the party, in its present form, is on the verge of irrelevance. Its stated ideals and goals remain important — secularism particularly so — but it cannot pursue them meaningfully without undergoing structural adjustment. It must also rethink its place in the political game. If the Left can be so radical as to back the AAP, surely the Congress can also think out of the box it has trapped itself in.