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Broom! Vroom ! Vroom!

Posted in View Point

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Published on February 13, 2015 with No Comments

Voters of Delhi showed extreme maturity on February 7 despite the fact that they were voting for third time in one year-twice for the assembly and once for Lok Sabha in May. Not only did they come out in huge numbers but also voted with wisdom on all the three occasions. Last year in February, they voted out corruption ridden fifteen years long rule of Congress, in May the voters of Delhi went with the mood of the nation and gave all seven Lok Sabha seats to Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), and this time they broke the arrogance of BJP by giving 67 out of 70 seats to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

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An year ago AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal was putting allegations against Congress, almost all of them based upon months of research and based on fact, this time he was facing personal vendetta unleashed by arrogant BJP who had already declared themselves as the ruling party. Words never heard of in politics were flowing freely for Kejriwal: “Anarchist”, “Deserter”, “Junglee”, “Naxal” and what not, making the voter rightly perceive him as the grieved party. Perhaps BJP overlooked the very fact that Kejriwal had apologized for quitting after 49 days. Kejriwal’s apology made him look sincere and enhanced his ‘aam aadmi’ appeal. Everybody deserves a second chance – that’s what the Delhi voter felt.

Much more than AAP’s own effort, it’s BJP that helped the AAP’s cause. A national party that had got a clear mandate in Delhi for the Lok Sabha had to bring in 120 odd Members of Parliament, 13 chief ministers to campaign for 70 seats of the Delhi Assembly. BJP was trying to set right some errors in perception, mistakes in judgement, and gaffes in formulating strategies.Tu Tu Aap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BJP wasted a golden opportunity to tackle AAP after the thumping win in May. The scene would have been much different if the elections were held in July or August last year, but BJP was more in celebrating mood and didn’t want to lose any photo opportunity. Delhi was not on its agenda. AAP on the other hand, ever since it’s dismal performance in Lok Sabha elections, had been working hard for the assembly elections. Party volunteers who mainly are college students, executives, working professionals, auto rickshaw and cab drivers are known to have visited every house in Delhi to know the concerns of the residents in last 6 months on more than one occasion.AK soft replies

In Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand the BJP won without any local leadership and expected Delhi to be the same. When BJP realised its mistake it brought in Kiran Bedi. Bedi was probably the right move at the wrong time, which gave neither her new party nor herself the time to learn to work with each other. This is probably what caused the BJP to drop her from the various campaigns in the electronic and print media, and the intelligent voters of Delhi could read through the juggling act of BJP. BJP tried to capitalise on the visit of President Obama. Neither Modi’s efforts to claim an excessive chemistry with Obama was warranted nor it went down too well with the public, especially Modi’s repeated efforts to call the US President “Barrack”. Kiran Bedi’s attempt to link visit of Obama with “growth” of India and “Delhi not keeping match with growing India” brought a gag order on her by party leadership. Kiran Bedi’s comments about her constituency being in shambles were not a report card of the BJP MLA, but a reflection on Kiran Bedi’s disconnect with Delhi. She exhibited her lack of knowledge about her constituency and voters of Delhi could judge her on the performance they could expect from her, resulting in Kiran Bedi getting rejected from a seat that has always returned a BJP MLA in last 22 years

Modi’s designer “Rs 10 lakh” suit which had his own name embroidered on it also did BJP in. One can accept an individual’s weakness for dressing well, but the class perceptions created between “mufflerman” and that distant wearer of Rs 10 lakh outfit alienated voters from BJP, which had already begun to do so due to unfulfilled promises, slogans like “Love-Jihad”, and call by certain BJP MPs for “Hindu to produce 4 kids”.

BJP remained too focused on maligning Arvind Kejriwal, in the process it failed to take advantage of favourable developments- sharp fall in fuel prices, LPG, diesel and petrol. The same could have gone well with Auto rickshaw and cab drivers, a major vote bank of AAP; But BJP almost let this plus point slip, and brought it into campaign rhetoric only towards the end after having exhausted all kinds of personal attacks on Kejriwal. By that time, the voters had decided to go against BJP.

BJP’s endeavour to rope in controversial dharmguru Baba Ram Rahim Singh didn’t go well with the voters especially with Sikhs. On the other hand, AAP’s turning down the appeal of Syed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, to Muslims voters to support AAP and “form a secular government in Delhi,” for having not invited Prime Minister Modi for the incarnation of Iman’s son showed what makes AAP different .Instead of taking on Modi, AAP rose to the occasion and reminded the nation of the mistreatment meted to Modi.

Clearly, AAP’s effort did wonders for them, and BJP’s arrogance and personalised attacks on Kejriwal brought out a new face of BJP that didn’t resonate well with even its own voter base.

Voters of Delhi have sent a message to BJP that by staying distant from masses, elections can’t be won. Now the AAP with almost 96% of seats, the expectations will be so high that even a blink on part of AAP will invite deadly wrath from their adversaries. On another note, a verdict in favour of AAP was required to bring back Modi government on track.

 

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