Landslide victory in New Delhi
corporate money does not always win
A politician who insisted on holding to his manifesto commitments
India’s Aam Aadmi (Common Man) party is now poised to govern after its victory in New Delhi, having won 67 of Delhi’s 70 assembly seats, with Mr Modi’s BJP taking three.
Readers new to the subject are reminded that Arvind Kejriwal, leader of the two-year old AAP, resigned from his position of Delhi’s chief minister, at the head of a minority government in 2014, after 49 days. He had argued there was no point trying to run a minority government lacking the numbers needed to push ahead with reforms, such as creation of a special agency to investigate official corruption.
With individual donations, limited financial resources and enthusiastic campaigning
Nearly 67% of Delhi’s residents voted on Saturday, in an unprecedentedly high poll turnout, to give Mr Kejriwal a second chance. He hailed the outcome, tweeting: U r so amazing. U rejected politics of caste n religion”. Amy Kazmin (FT) reports:
“With its strong corporate backing, the BJP spent heavily and visibly in a bid to defeat its rival, taking large and even full-page ads on the front pages of nearly all the capital’s newspapers in the run up to the vote . . .
The AAP, which relies mostly on individual donations and had limited financial resources, relied by contrast on enthusiastic campaigning by Mr Kejriwal and grassroots volunteers”.
Policies favouring ordinary people
The FT’s latest sees the prospect of Mr Kejriwal emerging as a lightning rod for dissent, over policies seen as favouring big business at the expense of ordinary people. The AAP has already criticised the BJP’s government’s recent land acquisition ordinance, which seeks to make it easier for businesses to acquire farmland for infrastructure and industry.
Arvind Kejriwal celebrates: “The people of Delhi have done something amazing. It’s a victory for honesty and truth” .
Will the British people also do something amazing? We hope so.