New Delhi: First the question: What do the results of the Bawana bypolls in Delhi meant for political parties like the Aam Aadmi Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress?
Though there is no denying the fact that a bypoll in an Assembly segment is hardly seen as a matter of political importance, one can safely say that the win has come at a right time for AAP.
Yesterday’s results come after a string of defeats for the AAP and will offer them sweet relief. After all, the party has had no major electoral success since its historic win in 2015 Delhi Assembly election.
The AAP’s emphatic victory — by over 24,000 votes — left the BJP and the Congress in their dust. This outcome is in sharp contrast to the result of April’s Rajouri Garden bypolls where the AAP finished third and also with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi results where the AAP came a distant second to BJP with a difference of 133 seats.
Keeping aside its repeated failures, the morale of party workers was brought low by allegations of corruption raised against Arvind Kejriwal by Kapil Mishra, a former minister in his Cabinet.
Lots of political analysts started to write the party off, believing that the AAP’s last saving grace — Arvind Kejriwal’s image as a man of principle and an incorruptible leader — was evaporating before their very eyes.
But Bawana surprised many.
On an interesting note, the results also came after Kejriwal made drastic changes to his behaviour.
Kejriwal went from being outspoken and never missing a chance to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a man of few words who made a great effort to reach out to the people.
But despite this silver lining, the AAP will soon have to confront a new and unexpected challenge: The rise of the Congress.
Talking about the 2015 Assembly election, the Congress was nearly wiped off the map in Delhi.
But now, the Congress has more than doubled its 2015 vote tally. This time, the party secured 31,919 votes in Bawana compared to 14,749 in 2015.
The Bawana result is widely been seen as a setback for the BJP after a string of wins in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The defeat is also seen as a false start for new Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who lots of them expected to strike a chord in the heart of the capital’s Purvanchali vote bank. The BJP estimated that nearly 35 percent of all Bawana voters were Purvanchalis.