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MCD Election Results 2017: Arvind Kejriwal and AAP should take lessons from Assam's Prafulla Mahanta

Aam Admi Party is showing certain arrogance even in its crushing defeat in three municipal corporations of Delhi. All its leaders are sticking to a rather annoying excuse that their humiliating defeat and Bharatiya Janata Pary's stupendous victory could only be attributed to tampering of time-tested Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), for which they have coined a new term.

"EVM lahar" (EVM-manipulated wave) is their coinage of word to demean or debunk what people across sections of society call "Modi lahar" (Modi wave). But then, there are times when one should speak socially and politically appropriate words. Arvind Kejriwal and his party members, however, believe in the philosophy of being in continuous war with something or the other.

If immediately after scoring an unprecedented victory, Kejriwal was at war with his own party leaders like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, then he was at war with Delhi's Lieutenant-Governor, which continues till date. Then, he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a coward and psychopath, who could even stoop so low that he could get his political rivals including top leaders eliminated. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was projected as another villain who had to be taken on and when none of these yielded desired results to Kejriwal, he latched on a wide ball thrown by BSP chief Mayawati on declaration of UP election results to get into an imaginary war with the EVM.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Forget about learning from their mistakes, AAP has not learnt even the basic keyword in politics called "humility", even if that is meant for only public consumption. One is expected to accept popular verdict, victory or defeat, with humility.

Instead, AAP displays arrogance for it believes that no matter what wrong it commits, no matter how its supremo conducts himself and no matter how he gives a go by to governance and sets constitutional norms as Delhi chief minister, no matter how he promotes nepotism and favouritism, no matter how he spends public money on self-promotion through advertisement campaigns in all parts of the country, no matter how brazenly he defends his decision to make tax payers in Delhi pay crores of fees for Ram Jethmalani in the civil and criminal defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley, Kejriwal believes he has an infallible charisma and people would ever be obliged to vote for him and his party.

AAP's leaders are trying to tell people that MCD result is not Kejriwal's defeat but the defeat of democratic system in India, if that has any takers.

It takes vote and support for granted. Nothing else can explain this spectacular fall of AAP.

If Kejriwal and his men were to introspect, they would find that it is not the EVM but is their haughtiness, unbridled ambition and negative energy always above danger mark which is to be blamed for their present ignominy. EVM is a machine which can record vote in favour of AAP only when a voter presses button in front of its poll symbol, the jhadu (broom).

Unfortunately, Kejriwal and his core team of 'yes men' are trying to build a narrative to address to their unsuspecting workers. And that narrative is that Kejriwal's charishma is still intact and is not down in the electoral dumps because of his own deeds or misdeeds.

But they tend to conveniently forget that in democracy, the leader of a party is required to reach out with solutions while being in constant endeavour to build its mass base and organisation strength. People look at leaders who tends to provide them solutions, at least be sincere about providing solutions and delivery of public goods. As it is, their own life is full of problems. Thus, people would not go for a leader who keeps on burdening them with problems and picking off fights with all concerned.

That's where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stock booms and Kejriwal's stock bombs.

Kejriwal and his party colleagues also tend to forget that they were the ones who in their early days loved talking of "janmat sangrah" gathering people's opinion on every issue. The party no longer talks about it. It could otherwise have taken result of Rajouri Garden assembly seat bypoll, where it finished a poor third and forfeited its security deposit, as an indicator of the kind of popular anger that was there against them and then have taken corrective measures. Punjab and Goa Assembly poll results were equally disappointing.

Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) elections should have been a cake walk for AAP, given the fact only two years ago, it had won 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi. It was a vote for hope, trust and faith in a man who pitched himself as an anti-corruption crusader and governance messiah.

But instead of focusing on the delivery of goods in Delhi and fulfilling promises made to people in Delhi, Kejriwal went out to conquer the nation — Punjab, Goa, Gujarat and so on. In the end, he took only two years not just to lose election but also his credibility, face and support as a leader.

Kejriwal should now be reading about the rise and fall of Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and his party called Asom Gana Parishad. He can take some lessons from there.

Updated Date: Apr 26, 2017 15:16 PM

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