Skip to main content

AAP defeat compounded by solely blaming EVMs for debacle, a charge which is seen as that of an unrepentant loser

By Kamal Mitra Chenoy*
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership, which has refused to read the writing on the wall despite many warnings, weakening its progressive and popular narrative and going in for high pitched confrontations with the Union government, lieutenant governors (LGs), and Arun Jaitley, has paid a heavy price at the hustings. 
It has compounded this defeat by solely blaming the electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the debacle, a charge which is seen as that of an unrepentant loser, and is unprovable. In any case, political parties have a right to inspect EVMs up to 45 days after the polling. A 'paper trail' would also reduce any chances of rigging, if that is suspected in future polls.
Of course, the "rout" is based on a great mismatch between the vote share of the contending parties and the seats won in the MCD polls. While the BJP's votes share was 36.1% in the MCD 2017, it won a huge 181 wards out of 270, though less than the exit polls predicted. On the other hand, AAP had a vote share of 26.2% in its first MCD election, it got only 48 wards with only 9.9% less vote share than the BJP. 
Similarly, the Congress with had a vote share of 21.1% got only 30 seats. So the AAP+Congress got a combined total of 47.3% of the vote share, 11.3% of the vote share more than the BJP. This is one of the negative factors in a first past the post (FPTP) electoral system that many countries have. A sizeable number have gone in for a proportional representation system.
So the hype of the media and the sangh parivar has been heightened by by disregarding the statistics of the actual votes counted, though the AAP has done its own cause considerable harm. Why reduce the narrative of AAP to garbage, mosquito borne diseases with a warning that there could be deadly consequences. 
Ironically, the official "swachh Bharat" which also advocates the important of a clean Bharat is rhetorically more inclusive and positive, though the slogan has yet to be matched by action. Earlier, AAP promised a waiver of house tax in residential areas, which MCD officials stated was against the rules. Later this was dropped. Another case of overkill.
Despite the media and sangh assault, this has not been the kind of rout claimed, as the vote percentage figures show. Nor is there any reason for AAP and AK to consider its first outing in the MCD elections as a referendum, necessitating AKs resignation. 
Did Modi resign after the Mahagatbandhan won in Bihar? So why double standards? But the fact that AAP leaders like Bhagwant Mann, have debunked the EVM story, and stated other factors were important, is just one sign of the profound disquiet in AAP and those who had high hopes of AAP. AAP, its supporters and the public of Delhi deserve better.
---
*Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory  School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Click HERE for source 

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018)."In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Modi's PRO, who served previous Congress, BJP CMs in Gujarat with "equal" competence

By Rajiv Shah
A public relations officer (PRO), even as maintaining anonymity, is supposed to “manage” reputation of his or her client, reflecting the client’s views in order to influence opinion and behaviour. A PRO is also known to use, the world over, media and communication to build, maintain, manage and plan publicity strategies and campaigns, even as dealing with enquiries from the public, particularly media, organising promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits. A PRO is also supposed to final touches to press statements for his or client.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.