AAP, BJP and Congress: The ‘ABCs’ of Delhi politics

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal waves at party workers and supporters from the balcony of the party office, where they had gathered to celebrate the party's landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly elections 2020, in New Delhi on Feb 11, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi:  The Delhi Assembly poll results on Tuesday have shown that the Aam Admi Party (AAP), the BJP and the Congress are literally and figuratively the “ABC” of Delhi politics.

With a stellar Assembly election performance for the second time in a row, the AAP has emerged as the ‘A’ or frontrunner in capital politics. The party is barely 9 years old, but has developed the street-smarts essential for crafting success in the melting pot of the national capital.

After the votes were counted on Tuesday, the ruling AAP ended with 62 seats, just five seats short of its unprecedented tally in 2015. The AAP smartly unleashed a strategy combining freebies and public benefits that reached the most backward sections of society, as well as influential demographies such as homemakers and Muslims.

The BJP or the ‘B’ of Delhi assembly politics did put up a spirited fight to win back the assembly which it had last controlled around two decades ago. However, despite a phalanx of national and local leaders landing up for campaigning, the BJP could not improve its position much in 2020, though its tally of 8 seats is more than double of the three it won in 2015.

The BJP’s hardsell of nationalism via the controversial CAA and targeting the Shaheen Bagh protests only ended up sending Muslim voters scurrying to the AAP from the Congress.

The most dismal performance was that of the Congress, which makes up the ‘C’ of state politics. The party tried desperately to create a counter to the CAA and woo its way to power. But unfortunately for the it, all its efforts came to nought – literally. in a repeat of its disastrous performance in 2015, the party, which had ruled Delhi for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2013, failed to even open its account, but was a distant third in all seats.

Perhaps, the most important factor that helped the AAP was its Chief Ministerial face, Arvind Kejriwal. Something that the remaining two parties could not match.

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