Letters

The Delhi result

Has the Indian voter attained maturity? I am confident that this is happening if one is to go by recent trends in State elections. It was only recently that the ruling party at the Centre consolidated its position with a massive majority. But the opposite seems to be happening with the State polls: the voter appears to be closing the door on the ruling party. Is there a realisation that the top leadership of the ruling party is only full of rhetoric and there is no co-ordination between what they say and what happens? The peace and tranquillity of the country have been disturbed by whimsical policies. It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is confusion and an air of uncertainty. There does not seem to be any visible effects of developmental programmes. Following the Delhi result, the Central government should stop its strategy of igniting passions. The Indian National Congress should pull up its socks and work with zeal and enthusiasm to inform the electorate that it is the only alternative that can take the BJP head on.

Ananda Rao Mukkala,

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh

What a decisive and resounding hat-trick for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. It is a reflection of governance and honest work taking precedence over propaganda and polarisation. The AAP victory shows that Delhi cares for good governance. This is a big relief for many in not only Delhi but across the country because the campaigning saw the BJP carry out one of the most incendiary and divisive campaigns ever in the history of Indian elections. The AAP’s refreshing approach to campaigning — purely based on civics, completely bereft of anything to do with identity, religion or caste — is unheard of in modern India, even in Kerala, a State considered progressive. Indeed, the AAP’s biggest unsaid contribution could just be restoring faith in politics, a profession often associated with gangsters and sycophancy.

Another most fascinating aspect of the victory shown is simmering anger and a palpable distancing of the younger generation from the BJP’s medieval outlook. The party’s greed for power is now so unbridled and its ambition so audacious that it deliberately invoked the most dangerous mantras to befuddle people and create hatred where none existed, at least not in any significant form. Delhi is not just another State or city. It is the heart of the country. Let us hope that the men who matter in this country will hear the heartbeats.

Javvadi Lakshmana Rao,

Visakhapatnam

Democracy is still alive. Delhi is a miniature India with diverse cultural and cosmopolitan groups drawn from all States of India. The rejection of the BJP’s electioneering gives those who are genuinely interested in the nation’s welfare hope. Social and religious tolerance has become a practical necessity. The Delhi election results have also established emphatically the long cherished ideas of cultural pluralism in which a wide variety of cultural forms and religions coexist.

G. Stanley Jeyasingh,

Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu

The people of Delhi have given a befitting reply to the divisive politics employed by the ruling party at the Centre. Will the leadership now understand that the politics of hate and religion does not cut ice especially in an environment of unemployment and economic doom? Delhi shows that elections can still be fought and won on the agenda of development despite many provocations. This should also serve as a benchmark for future election campaigns and show the mirror to parties that indulge in hate mongering. The next test is Bihar.

Maqsood Haider,

Noida

Those who care for democratic and secular values owe a debt of gratitude to the AAP and Mr. Kejriwal for trumping the divisive and polarising campaign of the BJP and proving that concern for the common man and his livelihood can still win an election in India. The message for the Opposition parties, especially the Congress, appears to be that they should shed their belief that soft Hindutva is a sine qua non to contain the BJP .

Manohar Alembath,

Kannur, Kerala

The repeated and consistent performance of Mr. Kejriwal and his team in the Assembly elections speak volumes of the confidence reposed in them by the Delhi electorate. The victory proves that the measures and reforms adopted by the AAP are in the right direction and that the party has performed to the expectations of the people of Delhi. It also proves that the BJP will have to toil and moil if it has to hold the reins of administration of the most important region of the nation.

Jiji Panicker K.,

Vyramon, Chengannur, Kerala

Mr. Kejriwal has proved that he is in fact the David who took on the evil Goliaths. The blow to the BJP by Delhiites demonstrates a few things: people are carried away only by performance and not by empty vitriols; people are fed up with arrogance, autocracy and, more importantly, the divide and rule policy of the ruling dispensation. The hate campaign carried on by the motormouths within the BJP went against the party

Tharcius S. Fernando,

Chennai

The AAP could coast to a spectacular victory riding on the crest of the development plank, and relegating any threat of an anti-incumbency factor to the back burner. Throughout the campaign, the AAP was careful enough to concentrate on highlighting its governance rather than taking the Prime Minister head on, and avoiding hate politics. It is credible that the party could transcend the barriers of caste and communal equations, carrying all sections of society along with it. The BJP’s attempt to exploit the Shaheen Bagh protest to its advantage misfired. Considering that BJP wrested all the Lok Sabha seats in Delhi recently, its marginally improved tally in the Assembly could hardly be of any consolation. With the lack of a viable Opposition party or an able leader of national stature, it is time for the AAP to spread its wings far and wide, instead of confining itself to only Delhi. With age on his side, Mr Kejriwal could surely make a difference by taking a plunge in the national politics, targetting the younger generation. For the BJP and the Congress, it is time for introspection to decide on who should lead the party — is it just a charismatic leader for the sake of getting votes or a leader with a clear vision who can deliver the goods for the party as well as the common man, with an all inclusive approach?

V. Subramanian,

Chennai

The Kejriwal-led AAP government is all set for a third term in the national capital. It shows a clear win for “work and development” as against the “divisive” politics of the BJP. The people of Delhi have reposed their faith in the work done by Mr. Kejriwal and his government’s policies. Delhi has chosen a government which works for its people and shown the red flag to the politics of hate.

Simran Agarwal,

Jaipur, Rajasthan

The Aam Aadmi Party’s victory in the Delhi Assembly Elections strongly indicates that a majority of the capital’s electorate has outrightly rejected the BJP’s divisive agenda which piggybacked on communal polarisation. Development-focused politics has trumped over incendiary rhetoric. For those in power at the Centre, this should be a remider that the politics of hatred is passé.

Adrian David,

Chennai

The AAP’s resounding victory comes as a great relief and is a befitting reply to the politics of hate, rancour and divisiveness aggressively pursued by the BJP. The perceived invincibility of the BJP has been proved a myth by good, corruption-free governance that sincerely sought to address the basic bread and butter issues of the people braving the hostilities of the Central government. The result is a strong rejoinder to the BJP to halt the ruthless imposition of its majoritarian agenda on an unwilling country using its numerical dominance in Parliament and throwing to the wind the great principles of equality and secularism guaranteed by the Constitution. The melting pot of Delhi, a microcosm of India, has sent out the clear message that the country is against communally polarising policies that undermine the nation’s cherished tenets. The result holds out a lesson or two for the Congress too — that it has to shed its overdependence on a single family and search for an able and credible leader.

S. Rajasekharan Nair,

Thiruvananthapuram

The AAP’s emphatic victory is significant on many counts. It had shown in unequivocal terms of not only voter preference for development politics but also his outright rejection of politics aimed at polarising voters on religious lines in order to reap electoral dividends. While the AAP faced the Assembly polls on the plank of its discernible performance when it came to delivering good governance and fulfilling people’s needs, the BJP whipped up communal frenzy with its leaders resorting to vitriolic and vituperative rhetoric with a clear objective to polarise voters. That the Hindutuva gameplan, and muscular nationalism did not fetch it the expected electoral victory in the national capital holds an important lesson to the BJP’s leadership. For the Congress which ruled the roost for several years under the dynamic leadership of Sheila Dikshit in Delhi, its washout should serve as a wake up call for its leadership to work hard towards regaining the trust of Delhi.

M. Jeyaram,

Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

The AAP’s resounding win is to be seen as a pointer to the shape of emerging welfare politics and governance in the country. Essentially, the people of Delhi across the spectrum of demography have reposed faith in a performing government. Mr. Kejriwal’s focus on health and education has helped him regain power. His government has also ensured last mile delivery of welfare governance, impacting the lives of women and the poor. The verdict has significantly opened up another chapter in the politics of governance. It has been proved that better performing governments will be always brought back to power even in the midst of highly polarised and vitriolic electoral campaigns.

G. Ramasubramanyam,

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh

The resounding victory of Mr. Kejriwal’s AAP amply demonstrates the voters’ political maturity in refusing to be swayed by the vitriolic ranting of hatred against members of minority community indulged in by the BJP. It is also a triumph of good governance over any kind of vilification or demonisation of a particular community vitiating social cohesiveness. It speaks of Mr. Kejriwal and his team’s amazing maturity in refusing to be provoked to the extreme. The Prime Minister’s silence over such diatribe is indeed worrisome. The ruling party needs to learn that boasting about national policies does not necessarily ensure electoral success. The AAP has shown a refreshingly new paradigm shift in electioneering.

S.K. Choudhury,

Bengaluru

The voters of Delhi deserve all praise for showing maturity and wisdom by teaching the ruling party at the Centre a befitting lesson; it indulged in a highly toxic electoral campaign to polarise voters with obsolete rhetoric, replete with ultra nationalism and an aggressive Hindutva agenda. The BJP’s devious plans to drag Mr. Kejriwal into debates over issues pertaining to citizenship and religion were effectively countered by Mr. Kejriwal who focussed his campaign on welfare and good governance.

Opposition leaders need to emulate Mr. Kejriwal’s strategy so as to be in a position to stop the Modi juggernaut. Delhi has shown that the BJP is not invincible provided the Opposition is helmed by a sincere and honest leader who wins the trust and confidence of the people with hard work and with vision and an action plan that covers public transport, power and water supply, education and health care.

N. Raveendra Babu,

Hyderabad

All the efforts of the BJP to upset the apple cart of Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party have come to nought; most Delhi voters have overwhelmingly exercised their franchise in favour of the AAP. For the BJP which waged a relentless battle unleashing its entire electoral machinery and engaging a battery of topnotch campaigners, the lessons could be tough. The highly intemperate and vituperative campaign only ended up vitiating the atmosphere with no dividends whatsoever. Mr. Kejriwal wisely decided to turn his attention to governance. As for the Congress it is evident that it will have no further role to play in Delhi politics as the voters have rejected it lock, stock and barrel. The party is in no position to challenge either the AAP or the BJP.

C.V. Aravind,

Bengaluru

The AAP may have much to be happy about but what cannot be lost sight of is that it has lost seats; the BJP has improved its tally which shows that its national policies have still been welcomed by the electorate. The Congress has come a cropper and has been almost written off as a political party. The absence of a promising leader, the absence of constructive and positive work and the inability to reconstruct the party as there are no grass-root level workers are all evident. It is sad that the party that once ruled India has become a non-entity in the hands of its present leadership.

V. Lakshmanan,

Tirupur, Tamil Nadu

Considering that strong winds of pro-incumbency were blowing across Delhi, the AAP’s victory was a foregone conclusion. The only area where any surprise was possible was the number of seats that the party would cede to the BJP. Delhi’s voters, like their counterparts in other States, have cultivated the keen insight to view Assembly elections solely as a referendum on the ruling party’s performance. They saw no reason to unseat the AAP from power as the party had eased the livelihood pains that confronted the common people perceptibly. Facing a deficit of governance issues to attack the AAP government, the BJP had no choice but to divert attention to national issues despite realising the futility of such a strategy.

Contrary to the Opposition’s expectations, the AAP’s victory will have no ripple effect on national politics. The poll outcome offers no new template to defeat the BJP on the national stage. The AAP cannot develop complacency and forget that it is a Delhi-centred regional party, a fact that Mr. Kejriwal knows too well. He would not like to fritter away people’s trust and risk losing his grip on Delhi for the sake of pursuing an illusory Opposition unity. For his political future, the chieftainship of a glorified municipality is more respectable than the unsavoury prospect of ending up as an also-ran in national politics.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

 

 

 

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:20:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/the-delhi-result/article30795288.ece

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