Among the most anticipated races in India’s third election phase today will be in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, where Arvind Kejriwal hopes to make just as large a breakthrough in national politics as he did back in December in local politics.
Kejriwal’s new anti-corruption party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP, आम आदमी की पार्टी, Common Man Party) burst onto the national spotlight when it won 28 out of 70 seats in Delhi’s legislative assembly, largely by stealing seats from the 16-year government of chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s Indian National Congress (Congress, भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस).
Though the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (the BJP, भारतीय जनता पार्टी) won 31 seats, Kejriwal won the begrudging support of the eight remaining Congress legislators to form a government that would ultimately last just 49 days.
But following his resignation after a high-stakes fight over an anti-corruption bill, Kejriwal turned immediately to the national election campaign, with hopes of doing this spring what he managed to do in Delhi last December — energize voters both disenchanted by a decade of Congress rule and uncertain about a BJP-led government.
There are signs, however, that Kejriwal may have made a mistake — instead of building on its Delhi gains, the AAP could fail to make any advances nationally and it could even find itself embarrassed on its home turf.
Kejriwal’s record as chief minister
No one will dispute that it was a very busy 49 days. Continue reading Did Kejriwal err in resigning position as Delhi’s chief minister?