BJP’s loss in Delhi was massive. Not in terms of seat count or vote share. It was massive because BJP suddenly went from usurper to establishment, from one who overthrew the regime to becoming the regime. A year back Modi was seen as the new force that overthrew the century old structure. By the time Delhi elections were over, Kejriwal was being seen as the new force that stopped the Modi juggernaut.
So, the biggest loss of BJP was in terms of losing mind space as the change that the country needed. The media is already talking about the AAP style of politics, about AAP’s national plans.In coming days, when AAP asks for full statehood for Delhi and control of police, any resistance by BJP will only deepen this perception.
It will be wrong to assume that national public sympathy will shift to AAP. But it will also be wrong to deny that the Modi government has started to look like a regime – set rules, a king on throne, a small coterie of powerful insiders and a general distance maintained from media and public. Over the last year, Modi has slowly excahnged his ‘common man’ and tea seller tag for expensive suits and a global rockstar image. There is a vaccum for the ‘aam admi’ neta and it will be interesting to see how long Kejrwal can rule that space.