By elections: Why AAP won Bawana with such ease
The Aam Admi Party has won the Bawana by-poll in Delhi. Since counting began on Monday, the AAP maintained a comfortable lead over the BJP and the Congress which fought hard for second place.
The AAP always seemed confident about winning this by-elections and there was not a single day that the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did not campaign in this constituency. In fact the experts say that this time around one got to witness a Kejriwal version 2.0.
There are several reasons why the AAP managed to win this by-poll with a comfortable margin. The seat fell vacant after Ved Prakash the sitting MLA decided to quit the AAP and join the BJP.
Leading psephologist, Dr Sandeep Shastri says that this should be a lesson for all political parties. Never take an MLA into your fold when his or term is incomplete. In the past as well there have been many instances when people have voted against such candidates angrily.
In Bawana there was a great deal of resentment for Prakash for deserting the people who voted for him. The AAP felt the pulse of the people since day one of the campaign and said that there was a lot of simmering anger against Prakash.
The other miscalculation done by the BJP was taking Prakash into the party. He was never a vote puller and managed to win the 2013 elections due to the AAP wave.
On the other hand, the the AAP's Bawana candidate, Ram Chander comes from a humble background. He was actively involved with the India Against Corruption movement and has been a ground level worker.
Kejriwal according to the experts has re-invented himself. Following the defeats in Punjab and Goa, he has realised that he needs to focus on Delhi which is his stronghold.
Dr Shastri says that the defeats in Goa and Punjab woke him up. His entire approach has changed. His statements against the Prime Minister and the BJP have been measured.
Moreover he also realised that it is better work in a bastion he is strong rather than adventure in national politics immediately. Kejriwal also realised that to win an election, it is not always necessary being on television, Dr Shastri also adds.
When one speaks about a measured response, one must revisit Kejriwal's reactions on the Gorakhpur tragedy. His immediate reaction was not to Tweet against Yogi Adityanath. Instead he made sure everything was in order in his own bastion. He called for a meeting of all Medical Superintendents and sought for a status report on the stocks of medicine and equipment including oxygen.
He worked quietly on the background said an AAP source. So quietly that it prompted questions from his opponents, " where is Arvind Kejriwal."
He was there:
For the people of Bawana what mattered was that their Chief Minister was there almost everyday. During his campaigns he reached out to everyone. In fact during one of the campaigns, he spoke about the greatness of the local wrestlers. He would walk through water logged streets and meet with the residents. I promise to finish construction of this road in one month, he would say.
AAP's spokesperson, Deepak Vajpayee said that the charisma of Kejriwal has not diminished. He appeals to the common man and he has given his personal touch to the by-poll.
During one of the campaigns, he even spoke about nationalism. He said that the BJP may speak about nationalism, but do nothing. If a soldier from Delhi is martyred the state government gives compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family, he said. When the farmers' crops were destroyed, we gave compensation he said.
This victory for AAP would mean a lot. While the social media would give a different picture of the AAP, the ground reality is quite different. Dr Shastri says that this may be just one by-poll, but for the AAP is a big moral booster. The AAP realises it needs to focus on Delhi instead of adventuring out elsewhere at least for the time-being.