Tuesday, February 10, 2015





CONGRATULATIONS to the people of Delhi for choosing Arvind Kejriwal and AAP in such a spectacular and resounding manner. AAP deserved to win this time with a good majority -  for several positive and negative reasons. Which also means, BJP deserved to lose this time, for several reasons.

First, let us look briefly at the 10 reasons that TOI (of Today) has stated. I will then give my own reasons - beyond them.

1.   Kejriwal’s Appeal : Kejriwal’s  “I-am-one-of-you” image resonated, particularly in the aftermath of the Anna movement. And he played it to the hilt ; This helped people recall his pitch against the prevailing beacon-flashing VIP culture of the capital.
2.   AAP’s Anti-Graft Credentials : The party’s 49-day govt in Delhi...Street-level corruption, such as police, hafta, and extortion by MCD, had stopped during that short period, only to reappear after AAP exited.
3.   Modi’s Aura Of Invincibility Punctured : Delhi voter did not find him relevant to the day-to-day running of the state govt. His monogrammed suit was seen as his pro-rich bias..., his silence on hate speeches by saffron hardliners had an unsettling effect on middle class voters. He also looked distant, possibly because of his security cover, which he cannot help as PM.
4.   Bedi Gamble Didn’t Work : BJP’s last-minute induction of Kiran Bedi as CM candidate... was hailed as a masterstroke but it turned out to be a liability.. There was also talk of sabotage by certain local BJP party leaders.
5.   The Class Factor : While sections of middle class and even the upper class might have supported AAP, the poor and lower middle class voted overwhelmingly for it. The Congress vote bank switched to AAP almost en masse because of the latter’s sustained work among slum dwellers and its promise of cheap water and electricity.
6.   Minority Vote : Muslims...Christian vote, too, seems to have gone to AAP due to recent attacks on churches.
7.    Poorvanchali Vote : AAP gave as many as 14 tickets to poorvanchalis compared to three by BJP.
8.   Unhappy Babus : Govt employees... were unhappy with the Modi sarkar, possibly for the wrong reasons. The new biometric attendance system that forces them to report for work at 9.30am or lose salary has been giving them grief. Babus were also alarmed by the buzz about retirement age being advanced by two years.
9.   Delay Helped AAP : AAP was down and out after the Lok Sabha polls. An election in Delhi soon thereafter would have almost certainly led to a BJP victory.
10.               Targeting Kejriwal Backfired : In comparison, Kejriwal was restrained and he didnot attack Modi or Bedi.

So, these were the reasons(in brief) that TOI has put out for AAP’s victory and defeat of BJP. We are not considering Congress and others as a factor at all. I also endorse all these as possible reasons. But, I will go beyond these to explore what contributed to this landslide / tsunami in favour of AAP and against BJP. 

I confess that I am personally a Great admirer of Modi and his proven governance capabilities. I want him to succeed as prime Minister of India. So, my observations below will be from the viewpoint of enhancing his Image and effectiveness in future, while remaining unbiased and scathing.

1.   The number 1 factor that contributed to BJP’s dismal showing is - for the first time, Modi and BJP failed to project the image of the humble chaiwala (versus a class.1.Babu in AAP & the corrupt Congress). This identification with the poorest of the poor was totally missing. Wearing of a Costly suit during Obama’s visit was OK. But, the moment that visit was over, Modi & BJP must have reverted back to the ‘representative of the poorest of the poor’ image. Modi’s speeches were always tempered with this image earlier. Modi always spoke as the FIRST SERVANT, PRADHAN SEVAK, not Pradhan Mantri. But, this image building was totally absent this time. Not once did we hear his Pradhan Sevak tenor this time. Had this been done, the damage in elections would not have been this severe. Who knows, this may have even  reversed the trend and tilted scales in favour of BJP. It was , after all, Modi factor, which won earlier elections – not Amit shah factor or other factors. Amit Shah did help in gathering the cadres.
2.   The Indian Electorate must be happy that more and more, non-corrupt, non-corruptible leaders are coming to lead them. I will Name Narendra Modi as the foremost of them. Arvind, Kiran are also in the list. I remember that, Modi, just before taking over as PM, had donated a HUGE CHUNK of his SMALL property for Poor children education. I do not think, any other current day’s Politician (including Kejriwal and Kiran) has done anything like that. I also understand from some News reports that Modi does not have money to buy a flat at Delhi. But, BJP leaders don’t even seem to remember their tallest leader’s selfless life. On the other hand, all that comes in news is – the coat he wore during Obama’s visit – which probably was a gift from someone. How, he fasted all the Navratri days even in USA do not find an admirable mention by his followers.
3.   For Future : I strongly suggest that  – BJP MPs may come forward to donate 20% of their salary for Poor children’s education IMMEDIATELY. That must preferably be done before Jaitley brings in any educational cess etc  in this Budget.
4.   Modi Government, in the last 11 months of its Rule has done some excellent things, which it failed to project exactly when needed. When Modi took to Swachh Bharat movement, he had clearly taken away the broom from the AAP into his hands. Swachh Bharat was not, is not and should never be a mere Photo OP. Before elections and even during elections, the leaders and cadres should have shown greater sincerity and devotion to Swachh Bharat movement on a daily basis in some poor moholla or other in Delhi. That would have been better canvassing than door-to-door campaigning.
5.   For future : BJP Ministers and Chief Ministers in all BJP ruled states and Non-BJP states must show greater devotion to Swachh Bharat Movement. At least, weekly once, People will feel glad to see each CM of BJP in a village participating in Swachh Bharat movement in a serious way, not as Photo OP alone. All Indians must be made to imbibe this CLEAN INDIA spirit – and credit will naturally flow to Modi.
6.   Adoption of villages : Adoption of villages/Mohollas by BJP MLAs, MPs and Ministers and construction of Toilets was progressing – as per news reports. But, who did what in BJP – is not monitored and leaders were not asked to DO and TELL what they have done and are doing. Did anyone do anything in Delhi? So many MLA aspirants were there. What did they do in the slums of Delhi? Who knows? On the contrary, AAP workers were all over the place with brooms (though not sweeping). BJP men could have swept the Mohollas even when AAP men were wielding brooms in air. Modi had seized the broom from AAP, but, it is again back with AAP. All this requires some humbleness and servantship attitude. Modi has it. Others in BJP must also practice it.
7.   The JAM DHAN YOJANA Bank Account opening was a significant achievement. There should have been a survey in Delhi’s Mohollas by BJP, how many such accounts were opened and telling them, how it can benefit them in future.
8.   The LPG Subsidy credit was a fantastic achievement. Many of us got back the subsidy into our Bank accounts very promptly. BJP cadres should have gone to Delhi Mohollas and ascertained if all of them benefitted from the scheme. If not, they should have assisted them to benefit from it. That really is the service - being carried forward from Government to people – by the Party.
9.   For Future : Will BJP cadres now do it in all other states?
10.               Finance Minister, JAITLEY has done enough good work in respect of Black Money. That should be adequately publicized and further suggestions called for openly. This was not done. AAP’s meaningless allegations were allowed to catch Big Attention and get away with them.
11.               When a AAP volunteer goes anywhere, he is recognized as AAP volunteer. That’s a Huge advantage for AAP. BJP must find a way to get its cadre identified as such, especially when they are doing good social service.
12.               When churches were broken into, especially in Delhi, it was expected that BJP leaders would strongly condemn them and openly order speedy investigation. That strong, open condemnation was totally missing. In the absence of the condemnation, suspicions were leaning towards some sangh parivar followers. A shrewd and sensitive Politician, like Amit Shah or some BJP leader, should have visited these churches to see what has happened and talked to the people there and assured them of speedy action. Significantly, all these incidents happened in Delhi and Delhi elections were also known to be due. So, it was absolute Political suicide and naiveté not to have taken those attacks on churches seriously and strongly condemned them. Not only shrewdness, but, sensitivity was needed. But, both were missing.
13.               Not condemning the excesses of the Hindutva Hawks was, is and will always be a Big Mistake on the part of the BJP. Modi did rebuke some of his erring MPs earlier. That had enhanced his image. But, that should have been carried forward by more BJP leaders, every time they noticed an excess. Modi had made some excellent ‘from the ‘Core of the  Heart statements’ about Indian Muslims and Indian Minorities. That type of statements need periodical renewal to drive home the point to all BJP leaders first and also to the RSS leaders. BJP leaders especially must learn to  go the extra mile in respect of assuring Minorities of their  support and protection.
14.               AAP has published its DONORS’ names on its web site. All kudos to AAP for this transparency. BJP should seize this initiative now and bring a Bill for similar initiative being applicable to all Political parties. Pass it at least in Lok sabha. If AAP can do it, BJP also can do it.  It can apply to all future donations. This is not necessarily for past donations. Merely harping on some suspicious donors did not dent AAP’s image but only enhanced it. In future also, going into the antecedents of DONORS except in respect of BIG DONATIONS, should not be allowed. Political donations should not be allowed any INCOMETAX EXEMPTION.
15.               Kiran Bedi is a Good, clean person and will be an asset to BJP. Her late entry into BJP might have been an issue. But, her entry into BJP was good. BJP can turn her round into a Great Politician in time. If BJP had not welcomed her, sooner or later, Kiran might have been forced to join AAP. BJP leaders must accept her as a valuable member.
16.               UNHAPPY BABUS :- Any good government faces unhappy Babus, because India has lazy, insincere, late-coming Babus in large numbers. Chandrababu Naidu had faced this earlier. Both BJP and AAP will need to discipline Babus, though with a carrot and stock dual approach. AAP will also face unhappy babus very soon. So, let it be. Babus must be disciplined and be non-corrupt. I wish that BJP and AAP must come to an understanding to discipline the babus of Delhi and make them all NON-CORRUPT and efficient.
17.               Arvind is a new Politician. From out of Power, making tall promises is fine. But, implementing them in office is not easy. He should not now harp on Modi to implement AAP’s promises. Modi has his own promises to implement. AAP would be entirely wrong to tease the power companies etc – beyond limits to reduce power tariffs. They are not making any great profits even now. Power companies must be assured of decent profits but asked to make available 24 x 7 unfailing Power supply. That is what Delhi needs.
18.               Women Protection is a National Challenge. Every single case of Rape / Gang rape must be investigated ULTRA-FAST and the culprits must be punished severely. GANG RAPE especially must attract death sentence only-with no discretion to the courts in the matter.
19.               Modi has been using  social media reasonably effectively. But, when you are going to Polls, you must call for specific suggestions from voters of Delhi – on what they want. All such suggestions should have been acknowledged. This was not done. AAP’s intensive work in the streets and Mohollas paid good dividends to them – in the absence of similar work by BJP.
20.               For Future : Can Modi, and BJP seek suggestions  on what Bihar, UP, West Bengal and other state people want for their states’ development, discuss them, list priorities and put out for people’s knowledge. That will form BJP’s election manifesto. What people want – not what I want – must be the manifesto. Cadres can go to villages / Mohollas. But, Modi can go to people through social Media.
21.               I am sure, Modi will bounce back to his clean, efficient, humble self and make India Proud. Likewise, I wish Arvind kejriwal, to make Delhi voters proud by clean, efficient, selfless work – sans impossible promises and allegations for failure against others.

Good Luck to Modi and to Arvind.

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