MCD election results 2017: 6 reasons AAP lost and Arvind Kejriwal is one of them [Opinion]

It’s curious how after 15 years of ruling the MCD, BJP gets to make promises it didn’t fulfill in the first place and AAP is left to battle another electoral defeat

For a government whose core issue is paani, bijli, and makaan  — it seems very improbable for it to perform so badly in the civic Elections. Why did AAP perform so badly in the MCD elections? Elections are won or lost on two counts – the perception of good or bad performance; or genuine good or bad performance, with the electorate punishing or rewarding the incumbent. The problem with the MCD elections was this. It was incumbent that BJP and AAP have a real chance of making inroads in the MCD arena. But that hardly happened and AAP already declared a war against alleged tampered EVMs.

It’s curious how after 15 years of ruling the MCD, BJP gets to make promises it didn’t fulfill in the first place and AAP is left to battle another electoral defeat. First, have a look at the current seat tally:

Here’s what might have cost AAP, the seats:

1. Targeting Modi way too often: One cannot deny there is a Modi wave. The huge lopsided win in UP elections is a reflection of Modi’s popularity. When in 2015, Delhi gave 67 of 70 Assembly seats to AAP, it was not because they hated Modi. It was because till then Kejriwal’s chief opponent was a “corrupt Congress”. But soon after winning power Kejriwal took too many jibes at the Prime Minister, so much so that they went out with a searchlight to track down Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s graduation mark sheet. AAP’s strategy to target Modi on every issue has made him look like an opponent to Modi and not the local BJP leadership — this was exactly what BJP would have wanted and AAP fell into the trap. Despite all its good work with the mohalla clinics and education reforms and BJP’s bad performance with the MCD, the Modi supporters felt alienated by Kejriwal’s constant rant against him and thus these results.

2. Frequent frictions with the central government, civic authorities, and blame-game: People might have realised the futility of the initial foundation of AAP’s political career — statehood for Delhi. They realised this was a constitutional battle and there were not ready for a sustained battle for statehood. And why should they be? This technical matter doesn’t really impact the daily life a Delhite. What does impact their life is garbage management and diseases like Dengue and Malaria. The last year saw a nasty fight break out between the BJP and the AAP government on who should take ownership on the deaths caused by Dengue. So much so that the apex court had act like a nanny to the two warring parties and ask them to work together for the interest of the people. People did see these frequent frictions. And unfortunately it worked against AAP.

3. AAP tasted victory too soon and too easily: AAP’s freak win in Delhi didn’t help it develop an opportunity to learn the art of politics well. It still behaves like a movement, an agitating party. AAP is no doubt the most important Opposition party today and it has all the qualities and an able volunteer group willing to take on BJP in a much stronger way than Congress can afford to do. Perhaps, that’s where they should have been for sometime. It would have been far more beneficial for both Delhi and the country.

4.  Crying wolf too often: The tampered EVM theory got a lot of play but never saw any concrete evidence from the Kejriwal camp. By now Kejriwal has earned the reputation of ‘crying wolf too often’. So, people might have just stopped taking his claims seriously. The problem with a Chief Minister in a state of constant agitation will result in people losing confidence.

5. AAP ventured into too many state elections: AAP, perhaps, spread itself too thin. Just coming out of a spate of losses didn’t augur well for them and the impression that went to the electorate was that they were just like any other political party.

6. EVMs could’ve really tampered: Who knows there could be truth in what AAP said. They have saying this since their dismal performance in Goa and Punjab. And perhaps, with this loss we will see a sustained battle led by AAP. And, that will be a positive outcome.