ig Test for Akhilesh Yadav, Maneka Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and more than anyone, it’s a challenge for BJP and Congress in Delhi. Raghav Chadha, the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from South Delhi, took a swipe at his rivals after casting his vote as the turn of the national capital came on Sunday to participate in the Lok Sabha elections in the sixth phase. Rahul Gandhi ditched his high-security vehicle and instead, chose to walk down from his home in central Delhi to the polling booth to cast his vote in the sixth round of the national elections. He is a voter in the high-profile New Delhi parliamentary seat. The fight is all between Congress and BJP whereas AAP is little irrelevant. The elections that took place for Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), BJP scored 37 per cent votes, AAP 26 per cent, and Congress 21 per cent. The stock of BJP is increasing and that of AAP is decreasing. Also, all is not well in the Aam Aadmi Party. Ashish and Ashutosh and many senior persons in the AAP have resigned. That force has gone missing, somewhat Arvind Kejriwal has become overboard now. Party men do not like the way Kejriwal is behaving. When the inside of the party is rotting, AAP cannot do any better. Also, it has not come out of the shock, the defeat of the party in 2017, even though BJP was expected to lose. Kejriwal is still struggling to come to terms with the public opinion which is against him. He is in the dreamland that he is the most preferred politician in Delhi. His association with Lalu Prasad Yadav and opposition leaders like Mamata, Tejaswi, etc. has placed him on the same pedestal.
AAP may win one or two seats this time. If it would have some alliance with Congress, it could get something better in Delhi. When AAP came to power in February 2015, a lot of people were surprised by the number of seats Arvind Kejriwal was able to clinch, despite the wave of Narendra Modi seemingly taking over the country. However, a few basic points make it clear how Kejriwal was able to sweep 67 seats. A vast majority of young people believed that Arvind Kejriwal is the real symbol for change in this country. Kejriwal’s incessant criticism of everyone in politics, his political posturing, and his constant self-righteousness: these are just some of the things that contributed to his image development as the ‘messiah’ leading an imminent shift from the dirty politics that has been conventionally practiced in this country. With such an image, he had all the young people who thought of the betterment of our country trudging behind him. Middle-class people were largely apathetic by BJP, because of the lack of a CM face. When BJP did come up with a face, it was too late. Moreover, it was felt as if Kiran Bedi just parachuted into the whole situation. In 2015, what people saw, was a headless BJP desperately looking for someone to be the face of their local campaign, they heavily relied on Modi’s goodwill and charm. Lower-middle class and people in the lower income category were swept by Kejriwal because of his promise of subsidies and freebies. Additionally, auto-drivers’ union also supported him at the time.
AAP’s election symbol (broom) also played a crucial role in getting them votes. There is a section of the society that has felt for a very long time that they do not have a voice. AAP’s party symbol subtly assured them that they do have a voice. Perceptions matter a lot in politics; Indira Gandhi’s ‘cow and calf’ symbol is a prime example. However, within five years, youth supporting each political party realised that they were made a tool to win elections but their leaders have personal agenda. Youth were shuffling in BJP, Congress, and AAP. The political parties lost their narratives, but here the Congress party started gaining against BJP by showing the mirror to Modi and his Congress Mukt Bharat jibe. Under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, Congress could win many major states by retaining power. At the same time, the so-called Modi waves settled to dust and they were losing it big time. In the recent past, PM Modi’s dramatic speeches and interviews did not go well with people. He became a joke of the time. Foreign magazine exposed all the political parties and their fate. The youths have already started realising the mistake they committed in 2014 and 2015. Modi as the PM and Arvind Kejriwal as the CM — both could not retain their image as a symbol of change; both were against the change. A few incidents are more likely to remain etched in the Gen X’s memory and therefore, they alter their voting in the next state elections. Kejriwal’s constant ranting against Modi on every step the latter takes. From Modi’s foreign trips to attire to his scheme of demonetisation, Kejriwal hasn’t spared one step taken by Modi from his senseless criticism. Even worse is the fact that more often than not, Kejriwal speaks without any proof at all and when someone questions him or his MLAs, all Kejriwal demands is proof. As a part of Indian politics, it is Kejriwal’s duty to know that his duties as the Chief Minister of Delhi take precedence over any sort of politics he wants to engage in. He took an oath to serve the people of Delhi, to abide by the law and to do everything in his capacity to make the lives of the citizens better. However, all you will ever see him doing is throwing allegations without proof or sympathising with people whose ideologies are questionable at best and ‘treason’ at the worst.
Modi has gone one step ahead of attacking all those dead members of opposition let it be Nehru, Indira or Rajeev. He forgot the barriers and dignity of his position. He used utmost low adjectives and expressions on a public forum, and meanwhile, Congress was talking about love and uniting people. The misplaced Congress was exercising to restore its lost glory. Whereas, BJP actually lost its magnificence by handpicking Sadhvi Pragya Singh like contenders, by keeping silent on crucial issues by not fulfilling 2014’s promises. This has shaken the faith of the people. Arvind Kejriwal, the man who claims to be a most virtuous politician, there ever was and will be, spends all his time to engage in politics, but doesn’t take out enough time to serve the people of the state he is the Chief Minister of. No doubt they brought some change in the education system and health sector, but that is not enough to retain power.
Looking at all of these factors, it is unlikely to predict who will come to power again. However, in 2020, Congress and BJP must have a face for their party and whoever is the CM candidate should not just be popular and acceptable; they should also get ample time to interact with people and build a rapport with them. Moreover, lastly, Congress and BJP must be ready to confront Kejriwal on issues that matter. Arvind Kejriwal will throw around serious allegations and that shouldn’t bring any contesting party to the back foot.
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