Arvind Kejriwal has successfully led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to a third successive win in Delhi in 2020. He and his party has earned the celebrations that followed.
So how and why did AAP manage a win against such strong opposition? Here are our most compelling reasons.
Elections are won or lost on three primary factors:
Arvind Kejriwal is the sitting CM of Delhi and has remained the party’s face through good and bad times, since inception. People recognize him as the face of the party, so any decisive and positive action by him brings credit; likewise, any negative action earns him brickbats. He has earned enough of both.
Arvind Kejriwal recognized the only way to take on the BJP was to take away their trump card – development, and the hearts of the voters that back the BJP. He also understood the love for Modi is a national sentiment and not a local inspiration. The BJP presented no local face to take him on in his backyard.
Voters look at past performance BEFORE looking at future promises. AAP knows it has a long list of achievements that have benefited the people, and they credit the party for it.
Kejriwal-led AAP cadres take credit in people-friendly policies that address local needs. Immediately on winning the 2015 elections, AAP fulfilled two of the three biggest pre-election promises – reduction in electricity tariffs by half for those consuming 400 units per month or less and 200 units free, and 20,000 litres free of cost to every household.
Both the sensitive issues are essentials in a city where the availability of water and electricity are issues of everyday tension for large sections of the population. People of Delhi credit Kejriwal for it and remember the benefits. It helped build confidence and trust among the people, especially those migrants who have made the city their home but continue to live under stressful conditions.
AAP has done excellent work on setting up and operating the Mohalla Clinics. Ask the economically weaker and lower-middle classes that frequent these clinics and they will credit Kejriwal directly.
The same is true for the dramatic transformation of government-run schools in Delhi. It’s a transformational experience where parents have withdrawn children from private schools and put them in government schools.
Free bus rides for women have enabled larger sections to step out and have connected very well with the women voters, most of whom directly credit Kejriwal for it.
Lastly, AAP has primarily delivered corruption-free governance in a city notorious for it. It is BJP’s claim to fame, but in Delhi, AAP upstaged the national party by taking over the mantle for clean governance in the capital.
The last important factor is aspiration. Voters look for the hope of a better tomorrow and then weigh which party has the best chance of delivering on it.
In Kejriwal, people see hope for a better tomorrow. The BJP offers none.
Arvind Kejriwal delivering on his Manifesto promise within 24 hours of winning in 2015, adds tremendous credibility to the party’s manifesto in 2020.
The AAP 2020 Manifesto offers ten guarantees to make Delhi a top-class city. Going by their experience, voters seem to believe him. The results confirm that.
Furthermore, AAP reached out to BJP’s voter base and the migrant vote banks. The trader community is mostly with the BJP, so AAP has promised to initiate 24×7 markets in certain areas on trial basis and, if successful, then extend it to more parts of the city. A section has responded positively, as income is more important than ideology for many.
Other promises in the manifesto include introducing Delhi Jan Lok Pal Bill. It works towards AAP’s promise for a corruption-free government.
It’s the homemakers of Delhi living in crowded areas with poor infrastructure who will benefit the most from the promise of ‘Doorstep Delivery of Rations’ commitment, and it would have appealed to many.
Senior voters have shifted loyalties responding to ‘Free Teerth Yatra’ for 10 lakh senior citizens. The emotional appeal outweighs traditional loyalties when it comes to the fulfilment of promises. Here again, AAP holds the advantage.
The ball is now with Arvind Kejriwal and his party to consolidate the faith placed by the citizens of Delhi.