The absolute mandate, 67 of 70 seats in Delhi assembly, a rare event in free democratic elections anywhere, has made the mandate a make or break event for Arvind Kejriwal.
It was visible in his speech when he tried to sound as polite as he could, attributing his party’s win to God saying only God could bestow upon such miracles.
The politeness may well be a progressive thought after the events of past one year when he dumped Delhi to try hand in national politics but was forced to come back to Delhi to find the lost ground. He practiced tolerance. He exercised humility. He apologized like a child apologises to the family members.
And he raised hopes, like he had done the last time. He promised the people of Delhi sky when the resources to fulfil them were not under his control. Delhi is a half state and the union government, in this case Narendra Modi led Bhartiya Janata Party’s government, controls Delhi’s lands and urban planning, law and order and traffic. Also, Delhi cannot make laws (than passing bills) unless the Centre gives them nod.
That makes fulfilling the populist promises (cheaper electricity, free water and education, houses for weaker sections, free wi-fi and so son) efficiently while improving on development (and thus raising generation of funds) a miraculous and so far unheard of aspect of governance in India.
Had it not been for a spectacular mandate like this, the party would be in a position to weather the backlash more politically – on missing the targets.
But, as characteristically un-political a mandate this is, going so far by the electoral history of India, the repercussions may come out to be equally unprecedented.
If Arvind Kejriwal and AAP perform in Delhi, they will comfortably be on the way to capture the political space of a major national party.
If Arvind Kejriwal and AAP fail Delhi’s trust, they will be wiped out, only to be remembered as a ‘two-elections, one-full term political aberration’ in India’s electoral history.
The backlash will be as spectacular as the mandate is.
Arvind Kejriwal realizes it. He must realize it.
And if we have not heard of ‘such miraculous governance so far in India’, it doesn’t mean it is impossible.
Arvind Kejriwal should be thinking and preparing to act like this.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–/