Battle of power at the centre ended on February 11, 2020, where Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) bagged 62 seats out of 70, and Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi second time in a row. From the first day of the campaign to the viral ‘baby muffler man’, AAP has managed to steal the hearts of Delhites.
The capital hit the Kejri-wall triumphantly where Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) secured only 8 seats. The Legislative election held in New Delhi did put everyone on their edge, one of the main reasons being Modi Vs Kejriwal.
How did Delhi election strategies work?
We did witness parties taking different strategies to win over the hearts of Delhites. At last, the formula applied by AAP proved to be an ultimate successful potion. BJP might have learned lesson 101 from this election. So where did they go wrong? Were they targeting on wrong issues for the wrong audiences?
The Delhi elections were often called out as “Freebies Vs Nationalism” or “Development Vs Communalism”. Not only where the views of Delhiites polarizing, but also were the strategies taken forth by these parties. Aam Aadmi Party focused on local issues faced by localities such as 24*7 availability of water, better education and health, cheapest transportation were some of the promises they kept in front of Delhites. Their strategy of trying to stay away from the polarizing issues happening in Nation-wide help them stay focused.
In contrast, BJP’s trump card was their National achievements. They didn’t manage to pull the chord of the people in Delhi. What Delhi wanted was a leader who notices their root issues and works for state development. BJP failed to promise these aspects and Delhiites did place their power on the one who is all ears for the State.
BJP pinpointed on National issues and achievements on their campaign. They painted the whole future of Delhi by raising issues of National security, Article 370, Shaheen Bagh, CAA and resolution of Ram Mandir.
The question is, what did all this have to do with Delhi’s development? Did all these achievements in any way promise to take this state further?
BJP did slip off to focus on the REAL issues faced by the Delhiites. The polling did show that Delhiites were least concerned with national security and was keener on placing their bet on basic amenities and development. BJP’s campaigns did portray a Hindu – Muslim or sectarian politics that might have backfired them. Either way, it didn’t bring much attention to the Delhiites.
The abolishment of Article 370 was one of the main spotlights of the campaign. They tried to use ‘the Nationalist pride’ cap to win over the heart of Delhites which may not have been entirely successful. The highlighting of Shaheen Bagh and CAA again didn’t do much good for them in elections. Due to the raising of this issue, they might have lost 13 per cent of their votes from the Muslim community.
One of the other disadvantages for BJP was that it didn’t have a CM face which was no match when going against a party whose face is Arvind Kejriwal.
AAP acted as the ears for Delhiites. Arvind Kejriwal exactly knew what to be said, done and acted as spokesperson of Delhi. He placed all his trump cards on the local issues and campaigned on the past five years of achievements that AAP has secured for Delhi. He carried out a ‘post-ideological’ and ‘Delhi’ narrative. He tried not to get tangled up with the polarizing National issues and not to engage on a hatred game with Prime Minister as well as the face of BJP, Narendra Modi.
Kejriwal focused on basic amenities and highlighted water, electricity, schools, and education to be the main agenda of the campaign. He promised to reduce air pollution by planting 20 million trees and boost the use of electric vehicles. He also aims at increasing public transport. During the campaign, AAP’s main focus was on developmental issues. One of their ace cards were in the education sector. They had improved the government school’s infrastructure during their past tenure and promised more autonomy along with betterment. Free water and free electricity was also cherry on the cake for AAP. In all, they did showcase to be a promising future for Delhi by working on their current local issues.
It’s high time for BJP to realize that not only the face of the party matters but when it comes to State elections they need a local leader who aims at the betterment of the state and is ready to untangle the local issues.
Delhiites have voiced their views through their votes. What are your views of the Delhi elections 2020?