Analysing the poll on taking Indian politics to most shameful level

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A recent Twitter poll conducted by My Vote Today on which political party or leader has taken Indian politics to the most shameful levels has preferred Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) the most.

While Kejriwal, who will complete his first year in his second stint as the CM of Delhi next month, and his party got 53 per cent of the votes polled (6,098), the BJP and its ‘Bhakts' were a distant second at 24 per cent. The Congress was ranked third with 15 per cent of votes.

Arvind Kejriwal

Going by the interaction that followed during the poll which was posted on January 22, there were enough charges and counter-charges between the sympathisers of various parties.

An extremely local party AAP played the most shameful politics?

But the result which eventually came out was a bit surprising for how a local party like AAP can really take India's politics to the most shameful level.

The AAP, which only rules a small city government like Delhi and has got just four MPs in the Lok Sabha, got 14 per cent more than the combined percentage of the two national parties, the BJP and Congress.

The AAP certainly did not produce a smooth and efficient performance while in administration and Arvind Kejriwal's hit-and-run brand of politics did earn him some harsh criticism.

But yet it was his party which grabbed 67 out of 70 seats in last year's Delhi Assembly polls, dealing a severe blow to the BJP (three seats) and Congress (zero seat).

AAP had a mixed bag: Still it got 53%?

The AAP government had its share of conflicts with the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and targeted the Centre, accusing it of orchestrating moves against it (the CBI raid at a bureaucrat's place and the subsequent fallout over the alleged irregularities in the DDCA is a fresh example) but it also received appreciation over the trial run of the odd-even formula of running vehicles on Delhi streets to reduce pollution and steps like scrapping a separate quota in nursery admissions in schools.

Did Kejriwal's hugging Lalu play a big role?

Kejriwal's attempt to make a space in the national political equations by embracing Lalu Prasad after the Grand Alliance defeated the NDA in Bihar Assembly election, was, however an eyesore for many. Did that event have a major contribution to the overwhelming negativity that the AAP received in this poll?

Why not attach BJP with any individual like the other poll options?

The second aspect of this poll is that while individuals like Kejriwal and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi have been mentioned in it along with their parties, in case of the BJP, it is just about the party and its loyalists who have been spoken about. It is futile to say just the BJP while making it a subject of any discussion for the saffron party today lies completely overshadowed by the Narendra Modi phenomenon.

If Modi gets credit for all success, he can't ignore the failure either

If Prime Minister Modi gets all the applause for the ‘good things' and not the rest of the BJP, then the party can't be just blamed for the unintended consequences. Yes, the right-wing ‘Bhakts' have gone berserk many a time but the onus of reining them in lies squarely on the party's top leadership, which currently revolves around Modi and national president Amit Shah.

Could the top leadership of the BJP have dealt with issues like Vyapam scam, passing of the GST Bill, Dadri lynching, Bihar election campaigning, suspending Kirti Azad, banning Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu or Rohith Vemula's suicide better? Certainly yes. But lack of focus and desired thinking and desperation in getting election results in its favour have hurt the BJP a number of times in the recent past.

Using ‘Pappu' in poll is not right

And finally, we have the Congress. One finds little sense in using the term ‘Pappu' in the poll as that is clearly not in good taste. And when it comes to the poll percentage, 15 is a figure that doesn't adequately explain the grand-old party's political agenda which is nothing sort of a disaster for both itself as an Opposition party and the country.

Congress deserved much more than just 15%

It is hard to digest the fact that the Congress was found to be stooping low by just 15 per cent of the voters after it repeatedly disrupted parliamentary sessions over every second issue, even if it involved a judicial summon to the Gandhis in relation to the National Herald case.

The disruptions not only wasted time and crores of money but also seriously harmed the Modi government's much-focused on economic reforms.

The Congress's internal feud in Arunachal Pradesh which has held the strategically sensitive border state to ransom and its efforts in putting the entire blame on the NDA-appointed governor of the state and the BJP also speaks about its dangerous politics.

It also tried to assess its own fortune in another border state of Jammu and Kashmir following the demise of its chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed knowing very well that the majority mandate in the state has gone in favour of the PDP and BJP. That was also not a practice worthy to be followed.

To conclude, it is advisable that such polls should be made even and uniform by pitting parties against parties and not just conveniently picking and dropping individuals. All the options mentioned in this poll had individuals except for the BJP, which raises suspicion about its neutrality.

Moreover, if it is speaking about the national politics, more big and important national players should also be made part of the debate and not just an AAP. It will be good if we make such polls a medium to see meaningful debate and not just to express our prejudice.

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