The BJP’s victory in the elections to the national capital’s three civic bodies was emphatic to say the least. How the BJP managed to ensure this victory despite its poor management of the three municipal corporations --- north, south and east --- will be debated in the days to come. Here is a quick post-mortem: First, the BJP played smart politics. It realised that the demography of the Capital has changed and so it fielded a large number of candidates with a Poorvanchal – migrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – background. Second, the party, as it had done in Uttar Pradesh, beefed up its organisational strength. Third, the popular perception against AAP that it had failed to keep its promises made before the election except power subsidy and rebate on water bills went against it. Its drubbing in Goa and poor show in Punjab including the defeat in Rajouri Garden bypoll proved to be last nail in the coffin and this helped the BJP. Last but not the least, the Modi factor. Even three years into power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains a vote magnet.
In the end, many saw AAP leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as ‘a complaint boy’ who unfairly raised questions about Electronic Voting Machines. A quick scan of the social media shows that people think Mr Kejriwal should give up his politics of victimhood and political street fighting. In an open letter to Mr Kejriwal, former AAP leader Mayank Gandhi slammed the Delhi CM and said he should give up national ambition and focus on ruling Delhi well. Mr Kejriwal must pay heed to this.
Such national ambitions of leaders such as Mr Kejriwal and the time and money political parties have spent on the recent local polls in Odisha, Maharashtra and now Delhi --- have given these elections a huge billing. The victory
in Delhi now puts a lot of responsibilities on the BJP. In its election manifesto, the party promised social security cards to avail of insurance, education, and health facilities and nutritious food and medical facilities for pregnant women and infants. Now is the time to deliver.