AAP won on positive campaign: Balakrishnan

Bengaluru, Feb 10 (IANS) A very positive campaign focusing on development and governance led to a spectacular victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi assembly election, former Infosys director and AAP leader in Karnataka V. Balakrishnan said Tuesday.

“We ran a very positive campaign focusing on development and governance in Delhi. We never did any negative campaign. That is what had resonated well with the electorate,” Balakrishnan told IANS after participating in a victory lap the party’s city unit took out in the evening to celebrate its stunning win in Delhi.

Of the 70 seats in the Delhi legislative assembly, the two-year-old AAP won in 67, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in three and the Congress and other parties drew a blank.

On the near decimation of the BJP at the hustings, Balakrishnan said the BJP ran a negative campaign and personally attacked AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

“They (BJP) never came with any agenda on what they can do for Delhi. More over, it brought Kiran Bedi in the last minute as its chief ministerial candidate, which had not gone well with the electorate,” he said.

Balakrishnan, who contested on AAP ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Bangalore Central constituency but lost to BJP’s sitting P. Mohan, campaigned for the party in the Delhi assembly poll along with other leaders from Karnataka.

Noting the Congress was never in contention, he claimed they gave up even before the elections were held.

Asserting that nobody was invincible in a democracy, Balakrishnan said the lesson to be learnt from the Delhi outcome was never become arrogant and take the electorate for granted.

“The lesson to learn is when people give a mandate, perform to fulfill the promises made to them. If you run a campaign with positive mindset, focused on development and governance, they (people) will repose faith in you,” he said.

Riding on the resounding victory in the national capital, the party’s state unit plans to contest in the upcoming local body elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) due this summer.

“We will contest in all the seats (198) in the BBMP election. If you look at the issues in Bengaluru it is similar to the issues in Delhi. Governance in Bengaluru is terrible and both BJP and Congress, which were running the civic administration all these years, have not done anything to improve the city,” Balakrishnan said.

Noting that an alternate to both the BJP and Congress with fresh views on solving the issues facing Bengaluru was imperative, he hoped his party would be able to capture the imagination of the people with its fresh thinking and development agenda.

“I would like the citizens to be more participative in all civic issues concerning Bengaluru. Elect honest and competent leaders and demand accountability. If citizens are active and aware then things could change. Do not vote based on caste and do not succumb to money power. Ultimately, in a democracy you get a government you deserve. Use your votes wisely and elect an honest and competent government,” Balakrishnan added.


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