There is a ray of hope on the national political horizon due to the great election victory of the Aam Aadmi Party. Fighting elections; on a unique agenda of offering a corruption-free government that is dedicated to the public services and the development of the state; by doing so CM Kejriwal has proved his prowess by grabbing 62 out of the 70 Assembly seats once again in Delhi and established himself as one of the National Leaders in India.
The BJP has used the complete power of the central government at its disposal in every possible way to win the Delhi elections at any cost it did not hesitate to stoop as low as risking the peace of the country as its leaders including Prime-Minister & home minister, were involved in spewing venomous speeches full of hatred to influence the Hindu voters of Delhi. The provocative election speeches by BJP leaders starting from Prime Minister Narender Modi to Anurag Thakur without naming Muslims could prove detrimental to the peaceful future of the country.
Narender Modi said “they can be identified with their clothes,” Amit Shah says that “Ye Tukde Tukde Gang is spreading disorder” political parties are making use of them. While launching insulting attacks against Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Millia, saying that violent protests are against the law of the country and comes under treason. Amit Sha while enquiring in his election speech asked” Who were setting the vehicles on fire. These students are spreading extremism instead of engaging in studies, “You should press the EVM button so hard in anger that the electric shock should reach up to Shaheen Bagh”.
Anurag Thakur continued to provoke BJP workers to shout slogans “Goli Maro Salon ko”. This resulted in three shootings in Jamia and Shaheen Bagh area. None of the country’s media has raised any kind of voice on this, but there was an uproar on how the protesters can continue to keep the road closed for more than two months. The BJP tried its best to make the country and the Delhi voters believe that the real issue is Shaheen Bagh & JNU who are spreading the extremism & they are traitors.
Related article: Democracy at the cusp of hatred and sectarianism
Meanwhile, on the TV show, Samvit Patra, the BJP- MP was screaming, “These are the traitors of the country” referring to the protesters of the Shaheen Bagh including all the women & children, they want Jinnah type freedom, Hindus unite, it is high time that the 80% Hindus of the country unite and teach these traitors a lesson. The situation in the country is getting bad to worse, Hindus get up, etc;”
In the Summit of the Times Now on February 13, 2020, Amit Shah has admitted that the slogan like “Goli Maro Salon Ko” by BJP in Delhi elections, ”We should not have used that slogan”. He did not say anything about the hate that he generated through his speeches. The intimidation of certain classes (Muslims) in their election rallies did not show any regret or apologize but remained adamant on his statements.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi Election 2020 needs to be closely reviewed for its outstanding success. It has seen a strange political war. The party, which lost badly all the seven parliaments, seats in Delhi in the May 2019 Lok Sabha general elections. All the seats were won by the BJP. In the Delhi assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party’s voting share was 52% and BJP’s 40%. In just eight months, what magic Kejriwal did to get all of his former voters back who voted for him in 2014 and made him victorious with a great majority again in 2020?
Here are three following points which are a highlight that will help us understand some of the complex issues involved in the Delhi election.
(1) Public facilities and services:
The Aam Aadmi Party has emerged as one of the major power on the country’s political horizon, which sought to eradicate corruption within the party’s internal circles and government. Established a new style of governance, & provided a simple government by focusing on the basic needs of the poor and middle-class people, such as electricity, water, education, and health.
AAP Has succeeded in setting a tremendous historical record by providing affordable services such as medicines for free.
The Delhi State Government was established as a welfare state or – for the first time, established standard public schools in the country for the common man’s children at government expenses. As a result, the clinics provided the best treatment facilities to the poor people. Apart from this, road drainage, water pipelines, bridges, a network of underpasses, that provided better connectivity to the people of Delhi. A state, which has a population of nearly 20 million which is a very small state compared to the big states of India; has been successful in achieving surplus budget for the past several years. In 2018-2019, it has earned additional revenue of Rs 50,000 crore and more than 60 thousand crores this year. In an environment of corruption that plaques a country like India. Honestly speaking it is highly uncommon for the government to earn additional revenue. These were the factors that influenced Delhi’s voters in bringing back the Aam Aadmi Party to power again.
(2) What was the political Strategy of the Aam Aadmi Party?
The general political views of the Aam Aadmi Party have undergone considerable changes during the 2014 to 2020 elections. What seemed like a lot of change had already begun before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. For the past several years, the BJP government has had a very harsh attitude towards the Delhi government – at regular intervals, the Aam Aadmi Party’s MLA or Minister used to get arrested and the cases were being filed this was daily occurrence, but suddenly the bickering between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party was over. Kejriwal, who used to raise his voice against BJP’s atrocities day & night adopted a soft attitude that immediately resulted in the stopping of arrests and pressure from the central government also declined. Then in the Lok Sabha elections, when the BJP won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, the general impression was that due to a decline in the influence of AAP in Delhi it would be easy for the BJP to sweep the Delhi Assembly Elections. It is not possible to change voters’ hearts and minds so quickly in eight months. From the very beginning of the second term of the BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party began to support all the controversial laws in the Parliament. Whether it is Triple Talaq or abrogation of article 370 in Kashmir and NPR & CAA for that matter, Kejriwal openly endorsed the BJP in Parliament and voted in favor of passing the laws.
What is important to be noted in this series is that Kejriwal has done a tremendous job of quietly transforming the ideas of secularism into soft Hindutva. Where the BJP was chanting the slogan of Jai Shri Ram, the Aam Aadmi Party workers have chanted the slogan of Jay Bajrang Bali. BJP kept Ram first in the polls & AAP kept Hanuman first in public meetings, Kejriwal even recited ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ as practiced by devotees of Hanuman to get the blessings of Hanuman and visited Hanuman Temple for worship three times. Kejriwal repeatedly expressed his unwavering Bhakti to the Hanuman, thanking Hanuman in his speech even after winning the elections. The problems of minorities, especially the Muslims or their rights, were tactfully avoided by him.
He distanced himself from The CAA protests stating that. This is a law enacted by the central government we cannot do anything about it, etc; In this way, the police in JNU and Jamia Millia & their atrocities & their barbarism; he neither supported nor opposed the protests of Shaheen Bagh. Rather, He said that Amit Shahji should arrange to open the road to Shaheen Bagh by talking to the protesters as all the people are suffering due to it.
From the beginning, Kejriwal did not allow any party’s Muslim MLA or MP to join the frontline. He does not want any Muslim leader of his party to be called the famous leader of the Aam Aadmi Party. They know that keeping a Muslim in central leadership can benefit the BJP. Whatever the reason, the Muslim leadership of the party has been placed in the second row. It is a welcome sign that 5 Muslim MLAs have won seats on the Aam Aadmi Party ticket, political observers say the Aam Aadmi Party has the patronage of RSS Supremo. a secret compromise has been made at some level. That’s why the Aam Aadmi Party has reshaped its politics into soft Hindutva. The party succeeded in creating a completely new ideology against the ideology of secularism. As the Congress leadership openly walked out protesting against the NRC / NPR / CAA and passed resolutions against it in the assembly of their states. Congress is openly endorsing Muslims. In the eyes of AAP, open-minded support of Muslims can be detrimental to the party, which is why they have adopted a soft Hindutva agenda at the behest of RSS.
Well-known political consultant Prashant Kishore is known for his efforts to bring all the secular political parties closer to Hindutva. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi were also advised to go to the temples by him.
There is no doubt about it that the patronage from the head of the RSS is certainly a blessing to the Aam Aadmi Party. Moreover, politics means making & breaking deals and extracting benefits through opportunism.
(3) Muslim Voters Trend:
Muslim voters used their votes wisely in Delhi elections. As a result, 5 Muslims were elected on the AAP party ticket. 75% of Muslim voters voted in favor of the Aam Aadmi Party. Because Muslim voters had to choose a party that could give the BJP a strong response and forms their government. Congress was a weak party. All its workers went to the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party. At the booth level, party workers were eliminated in the last general elections. In this fragile political situation, Muslims voted in favor of a party that is if not friendly to Muslims at least not an enemy of Muslims. There is no secret hatred for the Muslims. Justice required that the Aam Aadmi Party should have given at least 15 seats to Muslims in terms of population as 30% of voters are Muslims. In this poisonous polluted sectarian environment, Muslims have 5 seats that are better than nothing. Muslim MLAs now have to implement development programs in their constituencies in the best possible way and promote their constituencies.
By Mr. Nazimuddin Farooqi
(Scholar, Senior Analyst, Columnist, Opinion Leader, and Social worker)