The absolute mandate, 67 of 70
seats in Delhi assembly, a rare event in free democratic elections anywhere,
has made the mandate a make or break event for Arvind Kejriwal.
It was visible in his speech
when he tried to sound as polite as he
could, attributing his party's win to God saying only God could bestow upon
The politeness may well be a
progressive thought after the events of past one year when he dumped Delhi to
try hand in national politics but was forced to come back to Delhi to find the
lost ground. He practiced tolerance. He exercised humility. He apologized like
a child apologises to the family members.
And he raised hopes, like he had
done the last time. He promised the people of Delhi sky when the resources to fulfil
them were not under his control. Delhi is a half state and the union
government, in this case Narendra Modi led Bhartiya Janata Party's government,
controls Delhi's lands and urban planning, law and order and traffic. Also,
Delhi cannot make laws (than passing bills) unless the Centre gives them nod.
That makes fulfilling the populist
promises (cheaper electricity, free water and education, houses for weaker
sections, free wi-fi and so son) efficiently while improving on development
(and thus raising generation of funds) a
miraculous and so far unheard of aspect of governance in India.
Had it not been for a spectacular
mandate like this, the party would be in a position to weather the backlash
more politically - on missing the targets.
But, as characteristically un-political
a mandate this is, going so far by the electoral history of India, the
repercussions may come out to be equally unprecedented.
If Arvind Kejriwal and AAP
perform in Delhi, they will comfortably be on the way to capture the political
space of a major national party.
If Arvind Kejriwal and AAP fail
Delhi's trust, they will be wiped out, only to be remembered as a 'two-elections,
one-full term political aberration' in India's electoral history.
The backlash will be as
spectacular as the mandate is.
Arvind Kejriwal realizes it. He
must realize it.
And if we have not heard of 'such
miraculous governance so far in India', it doesn't mean it is impossible.
Arvind Kejriwal should be thinking
and preparing to act like this.