WASHINGTON: Krishan Partap Singh, an Indian novelist and a member of the Aam Aadmi Party, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “loss” in the Delhi State assembly elections was a “warning to all.”
“Indian voters are much less forgiving than before,” he wrote in an op-ed piece published Saturday in the New York Times. “This week the BJP learned that lesson the hard way, and the AAP learned it the nice way. Both are now on notice.”
“The Modi government’s nine-month honeymoon with Indian voters ended on Tuesday,” Singh wrote calling the scale of the AAP’s victory “a stunning reversal for an upstart party.”
“This was a victory of both substance and style,” he wrote. “if the BJP keeps falling back on its core agenda (Hindu nationalism cloaked in runaway pro-business dogma), it will be left only with its core support base (Hindu right-wingers and India Inc),” he added citing a political commentator.
The AAP, in contrast, has come to stand for straight talk and transparency put in the service of the common people’s interests, Singh wrote.
“The Delhi election was a local contest, and the AAP’s bottom-up, door-to-door campaigning style was naturally better suited to this particular race than the big-money and big-rally methods of the BJP juggernaut,” he wrote.
“Nonetheless the AAP’s startling victory is a turning point because it marks the advent of a new kind of politics in India,” he wrote noting, “Nowhere are voters more media- and tech-savvy than in Delhi.”
As the prime minister himself stated during the campaign, the mood of the capital is also the mood of the nation, Singh wrote.
“With a camera phone in every pocket and ready access to social media, voters today are better informed, and faster, about the hypocrisies of their politicians.”
“Thoroughly disenchanted by the Congress Party and, it seems, already disappointed by the BJP, voters in Delhi have turned to the AAP to rectify the deficit in local governance,” Singh wrote.
“Delhi is a cynical town, as capitals tend to be, yet in the past few days it has been transformed into a city of hope,” he wrote.
“The euphoria will soon fade, however – it always does – and the AAP has no time to waste before it starts making good on its promises,” Singh warned.