There was no Modi wave. Of course, not. The Congress was reduced to 21 seats in Rajasthan without any help from Narendra Modi. The BJP did not need Modi as they had C P Joshi locked in battle with Ashok Gehlot, with Sachin Pilot looking helpless while Rahul Gandhi’s brilliant choice of candidates fought the elections. Nor did Shivraj Singh Chouhan need any help to get two-thirds majority in his third success. It was enough to have Jyotiraditya Scindia with his hands tied behind his back, lest he actually win the state. Strategists like Madhusudan Mistry handpicked by Rahul Gandhi were enough to lose Chhatisgarh as well. When they have such a brilliant team fielded against them, why would the BJP need Modi?
This is why Arvind Kejriwal in his moment of triumph ought to discount his victory. The Congress had abandoned Sheila Dikshit long ago, lest she win a fourth term and be a threat to you know who. Rahul duly turned up three hours late for a rally to boost Dikshit’s chances so that no one should be in any doubt how much he wanted her to win. All that food security launch, Aadhar card etc were just for the general elections. No way was the wrong woman going to get credit for those goodies.
The Congress knew a Modi wave was likely. To avert that, Rahul managed a tsunami. See how effective he can be at winning elections (for the Opposition)?
But there is more good news for the nation. When the Aam Aadmi Party was launched, I welcomed it. It is the first modern political formation in India since the Swatantra Party in 1960. Their economic philosophy is a polar opposite of Swatantra but they are an attempt to break the vacuous homogeneity of populist clientelist corruption which is common to all other parties. They have an open membership and people join not to seek tickets and line their pockets (thus far) but for an ideal. Urban modern India has been thrilled by the arrival of AAP.
Even so, these are early days. Radical, movement-based parties taste success at first but do not always repeat it. We need to see if AAP can be scaled up. Delhi is a municipality (or two), not a real state. You can do intense door-to-door canvassing with a few hundred volunteers. Mumbai will be different as the Shiv Sena used the same techniques 50