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

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.