Corruption. Price rise. Poor governance. Paucity of ideas. Anti-incumbency. Safety of women.
Several reasons are being thrown about to explain why the Congress ship has been wrecked by the BJP (and also by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi) in these state polls. I however put it down to one word : ARROGANCE
I guess power does that to you, despite the Congress president telling her son and party vice-president that power is poison. Their arrogance came to the fore in the manner in which they rubbished AAP. Chief minister Sheila Dikshit mocked and asked on a news channel, “Who is AAP? Can you call them a party? One man has come from Ghaziabad and is sweeping the streets of Delhi.”
On another channel today, an AAP activist spoke eloquently about how when the party came into existence, the Congress used to denigrate AAP and ask what its `aukaad’ (stature) is. He was emotional as he articulated how AAP had indeed shown its `aukaad’ today.
Last year, a journalist from China told me when we were covering the American presidential elections how lucky Indians were to live in a democracy. On a day like today, you realise how true that is. How the true power of every individual vote can humble political giants so much so that when asked if the Congress failed to read the mood of the public, Dikshit replied caustically : “Bewakook hain na hum”. (We are fools).
The Congress has indeed been living in a fool’s paradise all along. That the right to rule is theirs. Today’s verdict is not so much about the BJP as it is about the people of India, in these four states. Who have told the Congress that Delhi leaders parachuted into Madhya Pradesh a few months before elections will not work. They have rejected the `We sent money from Delhi to you people’ line that the likes of Rahul Gandhi say at every public meeting, reinforcing the ruler-subject equation. They have turned down the sops announced at the last minute to attract votes in Rajasthan. They have also sent a terse message to Raman Singh that corruption in his regime and Maoist terror are concerns with them.
If the Congress wants to still play with the same eleven that will include rootless politicians like Digvijay Singh (loses three elections in a row from home state of Madhya Pradesh) and Ahmed Patel (Congress is a gone case in his Gujarat), good luck to them for 2014. They will need a lot of it as by all indications, the Congress is hardly in good form now.