New Delhi: Enjoying the overwhelming support of minorities especially Muslims, Sikhs and Christians; backed by the poor and downtrodden and having penetrated deep into the hearts of youths and those who want to change the corrupt system, Aam Aadmi Party AAP is all set to gain in the Delhi assembly poll.
Blooming with confidence and energy, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is aggressively pitching its anti-corruption campaign leaving no scope for rivals at least at this front.
Bewildered over the poll survey reports showing AAP’s clear edge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parachute-dropped a political novice, Kiran Bedi, knows nothing in which direction things are going?
On its part Congress desperately fighting to gain the ground but debate is on whether the party that ruled Delhi for the three consecutive terms would be able to open its account, this time, or not.
A hung Assembly in 2013, a 49-day AAP government which ended with Kejriwal’s dramatic resignation as Chief Minister, a BJP sweep in the 2014 parliamentary elections thereafter, and Kejriwal’s persistent campaign to get President’s rule lifted over the last year had prepared the electorate of Delhi for an unprecedentedly high-decibel canvassing.
Both the BJP and the AAP fought the 2013 Assembly election on an anti-Congress plank. However, as the political context has changed after the victory of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha elections, the contest in Delhi this time is focussed primarily on issues like governance and development. As the election draws nearer, the Congress, still carrying the burden of the harsh defeat, has been pushed to the sidelines except in a few constituencies where it may win or have an impact on the final result. As a result, the election looks like a straight contest between the BJP and the AAP. The campaign, too, reflects this trend. Though the BJP goes into the election with Kiran Bedi as its chief ministerial candidate, it is banking mostly on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity. The AAP, on the other hand, in a Herculean effort to overturn the Modi wave, has stirred up an energetic campaign.
Delhi has always been a slippery terrain for the BJP because of factional feuds and its inability to project a strong leader. It is because of these factors that the BJP has never been able to capture power in the last one and a half decades despite a strong and loyal support base, formidable cadre strength, and a thriving Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) network across the city. However, the party received a shot in the arm when it swept Delhi in the 2014 parliamentary elections, thanks to the exemplary public relations campaign of Narendra Modi. Modi’s campaign in Delhi revolved around the promise of “development” and “good governance”, which rested on efficient service-delivery mechanisms.