7 reasons why AAP may yet return in Delhi
1. Kejriwal has captured the mindshare of Delhiites.
He still appeals to sections like the lower middle class who are tired of police brutality and autowallahs who think Kejriwal is sympathetic towards them. Even many people in Khirki Extension came out in support of vigilante minister Somnath Bharti.
2. The Ambani FIR and Jan Lokpal Bill will click.
Some AAP supporters are chuffed that only Kejriwal had the guts to file an FIR against powerful industrialist Mukesh Ambani whom he has accused of influencing the decisions of both the Congress and BJP.
However since it wasn’t even tabled in the Assembly and Kejriwal resigned over it, he can claim the high ground over the issue.
Whether we like it or not, personalities matter in Indian politics. Jayalalitha, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee etc are all very high-profile figures and extremely popular in their States. Harsh Vardhan seems like a well-meaning sincere man, but he is not charismatic enough.
Currently the personality of Kejriwal, for better or worse, towers over both Sheila Dixit and Harsh Vardhan and hence he may still fetch more votes.
If the Assembly elections and Lok Sabha elections take place together, then the thought of “Modi for PM and Kejriwal for CM” may click with the voters. The Congress is down and out in both the State and Centre.
It’s a straight fight between the AAP and BJP and a confused voter may split her/his preferences. We don’t know much about the AAP’s Lok Sabha chances, but they may still have a fighting chance in the Assembly polls.
5. Last image: Both Congress and BJP looked bad.
Had Kejriwal quit after his dharna that brought Delhi to a standstill then that may have been the last image of him. However, people’s last image before the government falls will be that of both the BJP and Congress MLAs creating a ruckus all day and preventing an anti-corruption bill from being tabled.
In fact AAP had been at the receiving end on Twitter for many days with hashtags like #AAPDrama and #AAPCon trending. But on that day at least #AnarchistCongBJP was a top trend.
6. The means justify the ends.
Many movements in India have seen agitations, have been anarchist and have broken the law. The people of India have backed such movements in the past and there’s no surety that they will junk the AAP when they did the same.
7. Regional leaders get many chances.
Electorally Kejriwal may or may not emerge as a national leader but he is already a strong regional leader. And regional leaders do not disappear in a hurry as the rest of India will show you.
In UP, Mulayam Singh Yadav of the SP had a bad first term while Mayawati’s was lacklustre. Yet both of them were given majorities by the electorate in two subsequent terms. The electorate of Delhi have similarly given AAP an incomplete term and they may be tempted to give a full one now.
While at times Kejriwal looks like he is working in total madness, there may yet be a method in the madness and that’s something you and me can’t say.
Only the Delhi electorate will have the last say. We have been surprised many times in the past.
Profile: Arvind Kejriwal
Leading Indian anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal made a spectacular political debut in December. His party won 28 seats in Delhi's state assembly, propelling him to the post of chief minister in the capital.
But he was only to be in office for 49 days, resigning amid a row over an anti-corruption bill.
More from the author