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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 

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