While the Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide victory in the Delhi municipal polls can be credited to a “Modi wave”, the Aam Aadmi Party’s debacle signals the bursting of a political bubble, experts said today. The director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Sanjay Kumar, believed that AAP’s defeat would “reduce its chances of survival” as a political party.
“If you see AAP’s report card in terms of state governance, the score isn’t really bad. But the Modi wave helped the BJP garner more votes and register a historic win,” he told PTI. “Parties contest elections all the time; they win and they lose as well, it should not be too worrisome for them. But AAP’s case is different,” he said, referring to the fact that the party was formed barely four years ago on the strength of popular support.
Kumar also said that since the polls results could not be seen as a “referendum of AAP’s work in governance at the state level”, the party needed to look into the reasons for defeat instead of blaming electronic voting machines (EVMs) for it. “AAP must accept its defeat and go to the people to understand the reasons,” he said.
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Kumar said the Delhi MCD elections were important for the three main political parties in the fray for different reasons. For the BJP, a victory would mark its return to the national capital. For the AAP, more seats would have ensured its political survival, while for the Congress, it would have meant a revival, he said.
Kumar Rajesh, Fellow at Delhi University’s Developing Countries Research Centre (DCRC), described AAP’s slide as “steep” but predictable. “While they entered Delhi’s political scene with a bang the slide for AAP has been steep,” he said.
He added that the DCRC had conducted a survey in all the 272 wards of the MCD, interviewing nearly 40000 people for their views. “The burst of the political bubble was predictable,” he said. “We can’t deny that the BJP somehow managed to convince the voters that the party had been working for them,” he added.
The initial results show that the BJP has won 103 seats declared so far, while the AAP and Congress have bagged 26 and 8 seats respectively. The setback for AAP comes after its defeat in the Goa and Punjab assembly elections in March.