Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP which was launched in 2012 – just two and a half years back – has won 67 out of the 70 seats in Delhi Assembly elections. This means, he will have only a 3-member opposition in the assembly. Such a victory is unprecedented in the history of the country.
The question is, what worked for AAP and turned the dice in their favour? Or what didn’t work for BJP?
Presenting five lessons from Arvind Kejriwal’s victory in Delhi today.
A decisive & distinct leader always wins
During the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, Congress didn’t have a leader one could look up to. Narendra Modi filled in this yearning for leadership.
Modi had that pull during Lok Sabha elections and he continued with the same charisma for the Delhi elections. BJP’s problem was that even Arvind Kejriwal had an equal amount of magnetism. In a country bereft of political leadership both these men stood out as a beacon of hope. If Modiji aanewaale hain was the war cry during 2014 Lok Sabha elections, this time it was paanch saal Kejriwal.
Everything changed the moment Kiran Bedi was announced as the Chief Minister candidate for Delhi. Now Kejriwal wasn’t being compared to Modi but to Ms Kiran Bedi and this projected Arvind Kejriwal as the distinct & decisive leader beyond doubt.
He may not have the charisma of a Jawaharlal Nehru or an Indira Gandhi, or have the oratory skills of an Atal Bihari Vajpayee…but he sure stood out as a leader to put your bets on.
An individual’s or organization’s resilience is always rewarded
Last year…after being the Chief Minister of Delhi for 49 days, Arvind Kejriwal decided to resign. Ever since this decision to resign he and his party have taken a beating everywhere but that hasn’t affected Arvind Kejriwal’s resolve.
AAP stretched itself too thin during the Lok Sabha polls and 96% of their candidates lost their deposits. That didn’t disconcert Kejriwal. He kept his Aap team together and requested his party folks to stay connected to their roots – their constituencies.
Aap’s Delhi Election Campaign Committee consisted of 11 members, and was strapped for funds while BJP’s Delhi Election Campaign Committee consisted of 21 members and was flush with funds. Yet, Aap’s members remained resilient, which eventually paid off.
In life, what goes around comes around
In last year’s Lok Sabha election, Congress didn’t even win 10% of the seats and this Delhi election the same happened with BJP – a huge lesson to never rest on your laurels. Why would in just eight months, the people of Delhi bring BJP from its high of 46 percent votes to a low of just 33 percent – and give 67 out of 70 seats to AAP?
In a reflection of a true democracy, Arvind Kejriwal’s first words when he addressed after winning the elections were: “It is very scary, I am afraid because of the big verdict. The BJP and the Congress suffered because of their hubris; if we repeat their mistake the people of Delhi will teach us a lesson after five years.”
He also knows…if the folks of Delhi have given him a mandate, they can also take it away. What goes around comes around.
When you lose, there is always a second chance
Many of us lose heart at the first failure but Arvind Kejriwal and AAP didn’t. For a moment it did seem like his team will be broken apart and sent to the cleaners but he held it tight together.
In a profession where nobody apologizes he decided to do the unthinkable which ensured a second chance. His apology struck a chord with the people of Delhi after all he was the first politician to apologize for doing something wrong.
No problem if you fail the first time, there is always a second chance.
A good leader takes both autocratic & democratic decisions
A good leader doesn’t always go the autocratic route. A true leader knows the right mix of autocratic & democratic decisions and when to use what. One of the important decisions, which swayed the Delhi Election results, was appointment of Kiran Bedi as the Delhi CM candidate.
It is common knowledge that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah agreed on making Kiran Bedi the Chief Ministerial candidate even though the BJP cadre didn’t like it. A bad leadership model, if you ask us. Especially because the party cadres were expected to rally behind their leader.
If you live in Delhi, here is wishing you great days ahead. All the best!