AAP has risen once again like a phoenix. The election in Bawana has yet again proved the sceptics and critics wrong. A by-election would normally not have attracted so much attention but political hawks were out to kill the dove. But truth has its own logic. The victory in Bawana is a great morale booster for all those who have given every ounce of their existence and identity to fight for a new India, a corruption-free India.
The Bawana election has broken many myths created by our opponents since the defeat of AAP in the municipal elections just three months ago. In the last three years, a myth has been constructed that Modi is infallible and his wave can be neither stopped nor tamed, though it was AAP that won a historic mandate in Delhi just after the parliamentary elections. At that time, it was unthinkable that a small and new party like AAP could withstand the might of the election machine which Modi and RSS had manufactured. Modi then lost Bihar just after Delhi, but the BJP’s mammoth victory in Assam and Uttar Pradesh further reinforced the artificial construct of Modi’s invincibility, also playing up that there is no one in the opposition camp who can confront him in anyway. After the UP assembly election, political pundits were especially vociferous in announcing that 2019 will be a cakewalk for Modi – they forgot that in politics, even a week is a long time.
After its large win in Delhi’s municipal elections, the BJP was a in a very upbeat mood. It was remarkable in the context that BJP had defied ten years of incumbency and misrule in corporations. It had gambled by changing all its sitting councillors. AAP, despite its government in Delhi, could not challenge or dislodge the BJP. In the Rajouri Garden by-election, AAP could not even save its deposit. Then, AAP had said that Rajouri was an exception. We knew from the beginning that it would be tough for us. We also said that MCD elections are highly localized, and it would be foolhardy to write off AAP in Delhi on the basis of those results alone. Our critics were openly saying AAP is finished and its days in government are numbered, but the party was confident.
In Bawana, the BJP plastered the entire constituency with posters of Modi and the new “icon” it has discovered post the UP election – Yogi Adityanath. There was hardly any poster of the candidate, Ved Prakash. Even Delhi BJP leaders were gloriously absent from pubic display. Leaders like Manoj Tewari could not muster enough courage to openly canvass in the area. The BJP was asking for votes in the name of Modi. Their entire campaign was written around Modi. Bawana obviously did not buy that argument. Therefore, it is a loss for Modi. The myth is busted that Modi can win every election and candidates are not important.
Secondly, Bawana has also rejected the Machiavellian politics of Amit Shah. It has become a regular practice for BJP since Amit Shah has become the party president to, just on the eve of the elections, engineer defection in opposition parties and, with with the help of friendly media, show there is desertion in the opposition camp. The BJP has done it successfully in UP, Assam and other states. Even in Bihar, they lured ex-Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. Ved Prakash was an AAP MLA. Just before the municipal election, he resigned from AAP and joined the BJP. This was hailed as a coup by BJP supporters. There is no denying the fact that it was a psychological blow to AAP. The BJP had been trying to sow the seeds of dissent in AAP since losing the 2013 assembly election. It had then tried to form the government by luring AAP MLAs. A senior BJP leader was caught on camera offering 4 crores to one of our MLAs. Even in March and April this year, the BJP had contacted AAP MLAs to defect from or revolt against AAP leadership which of course did not work out. Of course, Ved Prakash proved to be a rotten apple – and now the people of Bawana have taught him a lesson and also issued a firm rebuttal to the dirty politics of Amit Shah and the BJP.
The BJP has not left any stone unturned in attempts to malign AAP’s image. Several false accusations of corruption were levelled against us in the last few months. Mud was thrown on us with the help of their Trojan horses. Some of their TV friends were more than willing to help them out. Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and their relatives were not spared. Satyendra Jain was painted black. Government agencies were unleashed against us like never before. The party was served notice by these agencies on a daily basis. The Lieutenant Governor ordered for the party office to be evacuated. This was such a bizarre order that it could not stand the scrutiny of the court. When the High Court asked the Lieutenant Governor’s office to show under which rule the order was passed, the central government lawyer could not cite any rule and the court declared the Lieutenant Governor’s order null and void. Bawana’s result has proved that the people can’t be taken for granted. And that they will not be fooled by BJP’s propaganda.
Despite this, the AAP government continued to work for the people. Arvind and his team of cabinet ministers have been working on an innovative model of development unlike that of the BJP and Congress governments. They have devised a model which is based on the creation of human capital. Instead of solely focussing on physical infrastructure, AAP is concentrating on the core sectors of human development. AAP believes that India can’t become a superpower if it continues to neglect education, health and water for its citizens. Delhi has been witnessing a revolution in education and health. Government schools have been completely revamped. Not only buildings but also the curriculum of the students have been majorly reformed. The results are for everyone to see. Governments schools are now a model for other states to follow. The three-tier health system is also doing wonders. Mohalla clinics are much talked about at the global level. The Bawana victory has proved that people have faith in AAP and believe that the government is working for them.
In Bawana, what is more significant is the victory margin. AAP has won by more than 24,000 votes. And the party garnered more than 45% votes which is huge. The BJP and the Congress are way behind. It’s a lesson for all of those who in the past prophesied that the BJP’s power and underhand politics can’t be countered. AAP has limited resources. Its campaign is led by its tireless volunteers who are motivated by the dream that India can change and it can be made corruption-free. Alternate politics marches on.