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Arvind Kejariwal's journey from AK49 to AK67: Negative politics recoils sooner than later
Crushing defeat of the BJP in just concluded Delhi Assembly Elections despite throwing in its all high and might has clearly shown that negative politics never pays in the long run. Even AAP leaders had never expected such a sweeping victory and have described their more-than-expected victory to BJP's "offensive and negative politics'.

It is being felt that the negative politics has turned Kejariwal from AK49 (attributed to his 49-day rule) to AK67 (credited for winning 67 out of 70 Assembly seats).

Surprised AAP while dedicating the success to party workers observed that mandate was for 'honest, clean and progressive politics" and against "ignorant, offensive and negative politics". According to AAP leader Manish Sisodia, it is the victory of honesty and people want clean and progressive politics.

Negative political campaigning which AAP leader Kejariwal had called mudslinging (Ye Keechad phenk rahen hain), was indulged in by BJP in a big way arousing negative feelings of public by referring to negative aspects of political opponents rather than emphasizing one's own positive aspects and political agenda.

In political science, negative political campaigning consists of a rhetoric in which a political leader refers to his or her opponent in an ad hominem manner. The speeches made by the BJP leaders and posters displayed by them had unworthy digs on Kejariwal's personality, thoughts, dress, record, or opinions.

"Delhi Assembly polls have shown that Indian voter has shown a political maturity and dirty tricks of negative political campaigning will no more work such as getting some purportedly sensational information leaked out to the media during the election period. People have realized that negative campaigning are conducted by proxy and are highly biased. This time negative politics has turned out to be counter-productive and most BJP stalwart lost the elections by falling prey to it," remarked a political scientist in my neighbourhood in Jaipur.

A stage has come that Indian political leaders must stop even the use of innuendo or hyperbole as forms of political mudslinging and ridiculing the opponents. A direct connect and a rapport with people on manifesto and agenda are going to work better henceforth.

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