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Victory for the Aam Aurat Party

This time the Delhi CM was seen exhorting women on the polling day to go out and vote. He knew that if they came out in numbers, he would be a winner; and he was right!

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


The Delhi elections have scripted a new chapter in the history of the Aam Aadmi Party for a comprehensive electoral victory that is achieved despite a popular central government enthroned in the city as the main opposition.

While there are many a reasons being attributed for this defining moment for one of the newest political parties on the Indian political landscape, one that needs special mention is the method it used to appeal to its women voters.

It’s the first time in India’s political history that as many women voted in these elections as for men. The election commission said that out of a total of 14,692,136 voters in Delhi, over 660,000 were female; and there is little doubt in the minds of psephologists that they voted for AAP.

The gap between male and female voters this year narrowed to a record minimum of 0.07 percent. While announcing the final voter turnout in the Delhi Election 2020, the state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh said 62.62 percent of men and 62.55 percent of women cast their votes.

This is a great indicator of a society where women are feeling equal as well an emancipated to exercise their right. They are finally waking up to assert their own choices when a masculine, hardline, nationalistic mood dominated the general discourse.

Good schools and better hospitals might have hit the soft spot with the women part of the electorate, but it has to be said that the Delhi Chief Minister himself had a big part in winning their heart.

Just before electioneering ended, Arvind Kejariwal took part in a televised interview from Central Park in CP where he was being questioned by not one but five women journalists of a popular TV channel. He was in his element; fielding all answers not only with ease but also with a certain charm that many women audience must have found very appealing.

He didn’t have all the perfect answers but he did reply rather perfectly. With a demeanour of winner, a charming popular ‘neta’ of the people who looked approachable and good hearted. He smiled a lot, was comfortable with easy body language while fielding off a variety of questions. It was a great performance and one that would have endeared him to the audience.

This was clearly a plan. Many a times politics is the purview of men. Women don’t make such important decisions about who makes the government and how they are run. However, the Aam Aadmi party has tried to position itself as the Aam Aurat party too. From simple sops as promising free metro rides to encouraging them to make political decisions, the party has positioned itself as one which supports and encourages women. That has borne fruit.

Traditional parties in India have been male centric; politics being the purview of the male head of the family conforming to patriarchy. A gas subsidy or a cycle to school is all very well, but not empowering women in the decision making.

Women are hardly ever encouraged to be seen centre-stage by mainstream parties. They’ve been cajoled for emotional reasons and for bigger nationalistic fervour, but hardly ever have they been drawn into local, more fundamental contests about who should decide about the roads, power, schools, buses and so on.

This time the Delhi CM was seen exhorting women on the polling day to go out and vote. He knew that if they came out in numbers, he would be a winner; and he was right!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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aam aadmi party Delhi assembly polls 2020

Vineeta Dwivedi

The author is Professor - Business Communications & Head, Digital Communications at Bhavan's SPJIMR

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