Paanch Saal Kejriwal!

It’s so good to see the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal back in Delhi. Muffler-man, AK-49, Cough Syrup, naxalite, I-Run man… call him what you will. It has been a run-away victory in the Delhi Assembly Elections.

Results on TV, Feb 10 2015
Results on TV, Feb 10 2015

The figures are mind-blowing, AAP winning 67 out of 70 seats. While the exit polls gave clear direction, they were way off the final figures. Surely the samples had a BJP skew. Anyway, if they had predicted such a victory for a fledgling party, credited with literally nothing but 49 days before this, no one would have believed them! Of all the polls, Chanakya was the closest. And the one thing they did get right was 0 for the Congress!

Hindustan Times, Feb 8 2015
Hindustan Times, Feb 8 2015

For those who expected close contests, this just did not happen. In only 4 out of the 70 seats was the margin of victory less than 5000 votes (Source: Election Commission website). The Delhi people’s mandate for AAP has been very decisive. So decisive that there will be an opposition of just 3 BJP members in the Delhi Assembly. Curious to know who these are, who have survived the AAP tsunami… Jagdish Pradhan (Mustafabad), Vijender Kumar (Rohini), Om Prakash Sharma (Vishwas Nagar). Wonder what these “Three Musketeers” will do in the Delhi Assembly.

The opposition in Singapore is what immediately comes to mind… where the picture is quite similar. With 87 seats in Singapore’s Parliament, every election, the opposition at best gets 1 or 2 seats. The first ever elected opposition MP in Singapore, JB Jeyaretnam, whom I once met on the street, had a difficult life and was forced into bankruptcy. Democracy in Singapore is a far cry from Democracy in India.

With 32.2% of the vote share (Source: Election Commission website), the BJP gets just 3 seats which is 4.3% in the Delhi Assembly (3/70 = 4.3%), and the Congress with a 9.7% vote share gets nothing.

EC results page
Election Commission’s results page

This might be an occasion to revisit the design of our electoral system. The first-past-the-post electoral system, where the winner takes it all, has certainly put the AAP at an advantage, but this is the way India’s electoral system has been designed. It makes it easier to conduct elections and it also makes it easier for government formation. However, an unprecedented weak opposition such as this, puts a huge amount of responsibility on the party in power. A weak opposition could result in a weakening of democracy, but it also provides a ruling party with good intentions, the opportunity to really do good work and fulfill its promises.

Indian politics has changed from this day. Five years is a long time to make a difference. Sincere good wishes to AAP, and the best of luck for the next five years. The people are watching! They await the jadoo of the jadu.

One thought on “Paanch Saal Kejriwal!

  1. DreamAchieveEnjoy February 11, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    Nice article. On a lighter side to your article, who said it is for 5 years…!


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