From The Editor’s Desk: A party that fielded more candidates than the BJP in Lok Sabha polls and over 400 of its candidates lost their deposits, is now giving sleepless nights to the ruling party at the centre led by Narendra Modi. The BJP won the Lok Sabha polls with a massive mandate and routed many opposition parties, including the Congress. The Modi-Shah combination continued their march by winning Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana and became e second largest party in J&K to get a share in power. However, they look clueless when it comes to Delhi Assembly Polls.
The Lok Sabha polls showed AAP was disintegrating. The party and its leaders lost their face. They were dubbed as ‘down and out’. But, within a few months, they regrouped and posed threat to Amit Shah and Modi’s expansion plan. The media is divided, public opinion is split and the BJP is nervous today, as Delhi goes to polls on February 7. What went wrong for the BJP?
While Modi-Shah focused on bigger states, the AAP and Kejriwal shifted their focus to Delhi. The BJP underestimated the AAP, as the local leaders Delhi misled Shah and Modi. When they realised the undercurrent, it was too late. There was no reason for Shah and Modi to trust the leaders in Delhi further. They played their master stroke by fielding Kiran Bedi against Kejriwal. It turned out to be an advantage for the AAP, as people realised that they will have a CM of IAC background whoever wins.
While BJP ignored Delhi and lost the opportunity to hold polls there in June or July when their popularity was on a high, AAP chose to sacrifice all states, including Haryana and continued to do their ground work in Delhi. With opinion polls giving mixed verdict, it has become clear that the BJP and AAP are running neck and neck in Delhi and none of the parties are confident of a majority although they boast otherwise in public.
Kejriwal is known for leveling allegations, creating hype and then running away. And, probably, people in Delhi love such attitude. They have had enough of politicians who promise a lot, but deliver little. They enjoy glamour, allegations and sensational stuffs. The Kejriwal brand of politics suits them good. That is the reason BJP has now decided to take him heads on so that he gets a fitting reply in his style.
Even a hung assembly in Delhi will mean BJP’s defeat. Shah and Modi are aware of this fact. They have now put all their efforts to win Delhi. Union Finance and I&B Minister Arun Jaitley has been given charge of Delhi. He is being assisted by more than two dozen Union Ministers, many BJP CMs and as many as 120 MPs. As BJP’s reputation is at stake, the party is leaving no stones unturned to win Delhi by hook or crook. Narendra Modi is himself leading from the front with a series of rallies.
The party knows if it loses Delhi, a lot will be lost and it will give a new dimension to Indian politics. It will come as a big blow to Amit Shah’s expansion plan, which has the aim of reducing the powers of regional parties. On the other hand, AAP’s victory in Delhi will create a series of troubles for the BJP and Modi in the years to come. The world looks at Delhi, the heart of India. And, AAP will emerge as a major political force in the country at the expense of the Congress and others.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Amit Shah has identified some constituents where BJP is very weak and asked the leaders and cadres to lie low there to ensure the victory of Congress. If Congress wins 10 seats in Delhi, it will hurt the game plan of AAP. And, that is what Shah wants. Come February 10, Delhi Polls results will open a new chapter of Indian politics irrespective of which party comes to power. Only a hung assembly will lead to further disaster. Will Delhi give a decisive verdict? Let’s wait and watch!