Promises-based politics vs. delivery-based politics

Now that the Aam Aadmi Party has won a clear mandate in Delhi, we must realize that the political setup of India has changed radically in past couple of years. Who could have ever imagined that the Congress would go completely out of picture and the BJP, a party that stands high in the name of India’s present Prime Minister, would not make it to even two-digitfigure in the verdict. I have been following AAP’s groundwork since some time now and have realized that in a country like India promise-based politics and votes in the name of probable development of the poor and deprived can take you all the way to power. BJP, in the Delhi campaign, lacked promises and sheer groundwork, an area where the AAP scored full numbers. In a federal yet unitary polity system, now the AAP and BJP shouldcome together for the development of Delhi, else we know that though after considerable time, voters do analyze their past valuations, something that has been substantiated with the downfall of Congress. Dear CM-to-be of Delhi, we wish you all the very best for the innings 2.0, this time you would have nil pressure from ally or the opposition, an equation that feels satisfactory at the day of verdict, but turns out highly cumbersome and demanding from the day of swearing-in. Though opposition, in my belief, was the most apt place for AAP for the time-being, attention-grabbing will it be to witness how the elected CM takes the state to new heights of success, something that you have been declaring and assuring for long;the days of tests have now arrived.

Delivery-based politics and subsequent triumph was the notion in 2014 when a 3-time successful CM of Gujarat was chosen for the topmost position based on his past actions and reforms. This could not be a case in Delhi as Arvind Kejriwal could run the state for mere 49 days, but in all upcoming polls, be it for any state or the nation as a whole, he should be ready to be evaluated based on deliveries. And you have the capability, this is sure;else no other man could have won the heart of Delhi with such extraordinary win. You have connected with the general public of Delhi, have reassured them of reforms in every domain, be it basic necessities like water and power or added perks like a Wi-Fi-enabled city. People have relied on your assertions, or I must say have extremely put their faith in your candidature, which of course is an undeniable and massive liability. In the 49-days governance, you proved that your intent to uplift the poor, by way of free water and cheaper power supply, was indeed honest, but management also asks for planning-based policies and not unforeseen decisions that bounce back to you as a horrible event to deal with. Now it is time that your administrative qualities, team-work, and pro-development thoughts would be tested hard; hence it is phase for apt planning rather than cheering the Delhi verdict or preparing hastily for polls in some other state.

For the BJP, this cannot be regarded as absolute loss for the party or for any of their leaders, be it Narendra Modi, Amit Shah or Kiran Bedi. This, in fact, is a result of shift of sentiments from delivery-based politics to promises-based politics, evident from vote share of BJP which has fell by mere 1 percent ascompared to Delhi polls in 2013. This, however, is also the time when you would need to analyze some apparent mistakes like fielding candidates in the last-minute, bringing in outsiders and ignorance of dedicated BJP workers, arrogance, over-optimismand portrayal of leaders as rulers, not people’s representatives, person-based and negative campaigning, and incapacity to connect with poor, minority and lower middle-class households even after delivering some pluses in the past 9 months. To be a popular political party in India one cannot ignore underprivileged and their ground issues. Wouldn’t it be better if the BJP had appointed a couple of representatives who could connect with the public, raise their concerns and get them sorted? After all, you assured ‘all-inclusive development’, and mind you that a large chunk of voters aren’t aware of rise and fall in GDP growth rate or thick influx of funds from overseas. India has been and will be a home to politics based on betterment of poor until their homes are filled with basic necessities. A rise in the vote share of the AAP is a clear outcome of move of poor and minority from the Congress to Arvind Kejriwal’s guarantees; this is a mirror to what happened in general polls of 2014 when Hindus whole-heartedly backedBJP, especially in the north India. The irony is that there is no model code of conduct while appeasing minority, all rules apply when you talk for the Hindus.

Dear AAP chief, you have all those issues in your manifesto for the 2015 Delhi polls that are the nerves of the common man, and have been present for decades. Who doesn’t need clean drinking water, cheaper electricity, safety of women, strong legal framework and protection from rising prices? It is, however, easier said than done. Now that power companies have congratulated for your win and have given a green nod to audit, it will be observed by every person of Delhi as to how you deal with the issue of electricity prices. Another tailback is providing ample water to every household, when you know that water level in the Haiderpur pond has started falling and Haryana isn’t proving that co-operative, but these are realities, harsh realities that every government has to face, these cannot be termed as excuses for non-delivery; hence proper planning is the need of the hour. You will need to find answer to HOW, WHAT is already in your manifesto. It is no wrong if you take some amount of time to comprehend the basics, hurrying, as in the last session of your ruling, can be avoided. No one needs a free Wi-Fi or CCTVs all over Delhi on day of your swearing-in, step by step and a sustainable change is what that we are looking forward to. The foreign media has termed your victory as a ‘political earthquake’, this term is enough to understand how closely are you being observed and what is the impact of your coming in on even the stock and financial market, and these being the backbone of our economy, your carefulness and astute is much-needed.

Assigning different tasks to relevant departments and heads, inviting suggestions from the public and persons of acumen, informed decision-making, co-operation with other authorities viz. municipal council, other state governments and of course the central government, monitoring the works of departments, re-evaluating those candidates who might have won in the AAP wave but aren’t deserving and capable, being accountable and promoting transparency are only a few aspects that we expect from the CM-to-be of Delhi. Also, a Jan Lokpal Bill isn’t needed, by this I mean that an effective Jan Lokpal Bill is required, we have all witnessed the failures of women empowerment laws and anti-corruption act as well. ‘Cheaper’ doesn’t mean free, rather means economical, that in turn would mean making people financially capable so as to deal with rising prices and economic ups and downs, notions that even developed economies are unable to get rid of completely. You have the responsibility to build not just a ‘developed city’, but also a ‘sustainable city’ that can remember for ages a person who could win the minds and hearts of the people of Delhi in such a manner that even sincere past deliveries of the Congress were totally faded out. Having won this contest with promises, I believe that the party and its chief, Arvind Kejriwal, would from now ask votes in the name of their deliveries and not the failures of other political men. You have the hefty and natural duty to prove that promises-based politics can aptly be turned into delivery-based politics, something that we expect from you in Delhi and Mr. Modi in the center.

This last appeal goes to the Modi-led central government. Look how well the people of Delhi connected with your 2014 call ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’, but why you failed to connect them with the BJP this time is the question that seeks answer. Dear PM, your policies in Gujarat were primarily focused on agriculture, self-employment in villages, adequate electricity to farmers before 24×7 supply in the entire state, betterment of girl child, education, suppression of corruption and such other basics. It is high time that the goods of your policy-making acumen flow down to the poor and lower middle class households, surge in the stock market and hiked FDI in sectors are secondary, though crucial. The youth, who were all in your support in 2014 and helped you secure a vote share of 46 percent in Delhi have now relied on AAP’s promises, and why couldn’t the discontented vote bank of the Congress shift to BJP rather having moved to AAP is a vital issue seeking your perusal; aren’t delayed ‘ACHHE DIN’ and central government’s lukewarm approach towards extending major benefits to the real needy a factor? Somewhat responsible is also the extremist Hindutva feelings with which though core BJP supporters could connect but the youth, Muslims, Christians and poor couldn’t. Upcoming polls in Bihar and other states will yet again witness more or less same factors, identical voters, also competition from arch rivals as well as the newly loved-by-people AAP.

For the BJP there is no other option than to undertake measures that are honestly targeted at simplifying and enriching the lives of common man. You need to pay heed to the MSME sector that employs a large cluster of the total workforce of India yet is fighting everyday battles with government officials, policemen and IT inspectors. While framing the new Finance Bill direct taxation system needs to be made so friendly for businesses and individuals that tax rates of middle class households and businesses be lowered, though not affecting revenue, and harassment of businessmen curtailed. All in all, the democracy is witnessing a war between promises-based politics and delivery-based politics, and to fetch support on delivery lines in all the upcoming state elections, the BJP and its leaders need to focus high on ground-level concerns with a view to bettering living conditions for even the most underprivileged.

98 thoughts on “Promises-based politics vs. delivery-based politics

  1. K. Narayan

    Sir there are n number of reasons why BJP lost in Delhi. But above all is because their connect with people has lost grip. In lok sabha elections Narendra Modi became the ideal of every youth and poor family, but this time AAP has taken this position.

    Reply
  2. V.L. Bhatt

    Aam Aadmi Party has now learnt how to do politics. They have attached the nerves of common people and poor. They should also not forget that if they will not do work that they promised, same voters will ask them questions. Be ready for delivery Arvind Ji.

    Reply
  3. B.S. Kochar

    You are a pro-BJP I think.
    I have read your AAP in Opposition article as well, but see what they have done to BJP.
    It is not the same BJP that we had during the time of Atal Ji.
    Arvind Kejriwal is the new Atalji.
    Modi and Amit Shah are like one person army.

    Reply
  4. Nagesh

    What about Congress? You should also suggest them ways for revival. If AAP continous in this fashion in other states, they will become a strong condendor of national opposition of party in India. This is good but we cannot completely ignore Congress experience.

    Reply
  5. Bhagwan Das Gupta

    Namaskaram! Sunil bhai, for quiet now, I have been going through the articles written by you. In deed you have been doing a great job by bringing the facts to our knowledge which otherwise we would not have been aware of. Pl keep it up. Regards!

    Reply
  6. S. Srivastava

    Janta pariwar in Bihar is also the next challenge for BJP, though everyone is saying that coming together of JDU, SP and RJD will not prove successful. BJP should be ready for any twists and turns just like what happened in Delhi, unexpected severe loss of BJP.

    Reply
  7. S.JOHN

    The views expressed in the article are relevant. The people are just turning smart and watching. Who ever is in power today, if they don’t deliver the promises made, in the coming 4 to 5 years of their tenure, they are bound to be throne by the voters in the next election. That is what it happend in the case of
    Congress. BJP should watch !- Inflation is increasing, Manufacturing indices coming down. Budget should revive the economy with sops for manufacturing and MSMEs. We have hopes on BJP Govt.

    Reply
  8. Sunil Patil

    Dear Mr. Gupta,
    BJP lost the election in Delhi and will continue to lose elsewhere as it is a party of pro rich and pro industries only.
    PM Modi is travelling all over the globe when about 100 farmers have committed suicide in our Maharashtra. He is not uttered a word for them nor bothered to visit Maharashtra .

    Reply
  9. Pratibha

    I have heard that even Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi cannot be introduced unless Delhi is made a full fledged state.
    Now AAP will make demands from centre and say that BJP is not co-operating.
    BJP has not just lost Delhi elections they should now be ready to prove that AAP is at fault.

    Reply
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  11. Martin de

    Absolutely right. AAP has won this mandate only on promises. BJP has lost because they did not deliver as per the expectations of common man. Still BJP was a far far better option than AAP. No worries. Let them take the chair and then they will know what is delivery.

    Reply
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  13. G.P. Kalra

    Also appreciate voters of India who are now becoming more and more unpredictive.
    This is a healthy thing.
    I don’t think that anyone can be blamed unless you see their work.
    AAP’s 49 days previously were also not bad, they are new and should be given some time.
    You said it right ‘No Hurry’.

    Reply
  14. Kapil

    You termed it right. When you race alone you are sure to win.
    Now we can find competition in politics and governance.
    At the end of the day, only those will survive who adopt delivery based model and not promise based.
    Best of luck to both Modi and Arvind.

    Reply
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  16. Sunil K Pathak

    I don’t agree that BJP made any mistake.
    AAP has made such promises that will never be delivered.
    Kiran Bedi was the best person of Delhi, this is above politics and dirty games.
    Now wait and watch how public will get on the heads of AAP leaders because they will not be able to deliver.

    Reply
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