Evolve or perish, say the people

The results of the assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have dealt a body blow to the Congress party. The grand old party of India, which has been in power since 2004, must be in a state of shock over its dismal performance. They were routed in Rajasthan and suffered a humiliating defeat in Madhya Pradesh. To add insult to injury, BJP CM Raman Singh pulled a hat trick in Chhattisgarh as well. 

Warning bells have started tolling loud and clear for the dynastic party and these results are an unambiguous wake-up for them, with the general elections just four months away.

It’s possible that the Congress is already out of time to improve its sagging morale and turn things around in time for the big vote.

But the winners can’t afford to rejoice either. While the results in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan may be convincing for the BJP, the performance of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is sure to be a sobering reality check for the party.

AAP has won more seats in Delhi than expected. This election has been a victory for them in every sense, with voters giving them a stamp of approval that clearly establishes that the prople of the national capital have accepted AAP as a political presence, even after social crusader Anna Hazare distanced himself from it.

It was Hazare’s agitation two years ago that brought Kejriwal into the limelight and stirred up the nation. But the grand fall-out that followed led to speculation that the anti-corruption movement was nothing but a flash in the pan, and that Kejriwal’s political crusade would soon lose steam. Their performance, however, has made it clear that the people are more than willing to give a chance to someone who has fresh ideas on governance.

In the past, the nation has seen the BJP choosing to stall proceedings in the Parliament, rather than engaging in fierce discussion and debate over scams that have shocked the common man and robbed them of their faith in the political and state machinery. And this is what makes AAP’s presence as the Opposition party in Delhi a heartening one. AAP, one hopes, will keep the BJP on its toes, working as a fierce opposition, breaking the tacit alliance between the ruling and opposition parties that is the hallmark of all politics of convenience.  

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