Despite losing many assembly elections, i.e., all of Delhi ‘s seats in the Lok Sabha election, as well as the 2017 MCD election, why does Kejriwal look so confident?
The answer lies in the fact that as per Kejriwal and party there is no other option other than Kejriwal, in Delhi; the way he has worked in the field of education and health is a landmark example. He has fulfilled almost all the poll promises; his various schemes and freebies are so attractive, that even his haters are confused about what they should criticize the Kejriwal government for.
AAP says that when Kejriwal’s trollers get the benefit of subsidized electricity, free medical tests, quality education, free bus rides for women, and free wifi, then they too, are experiencing a feel-good factor.
But, it is also a matter of fact not everyone wants the subsidy and freebie policy.
AAP is continuously fighting elections on the name of the Delhi model but nowhere its candidates can even save their deposit, the latest humiliation could be seen in Jharkhand where the collective votes of the party are less than total NOTA polled.
The best thing for the AAP government is the absence of clear CM face in Delhi’s BJP and INC. AAP says that Delhi BJP has an internal fight as many leaders of BJP want to be the CM, and this became even more apparent when Mr.Hardeep Puri, announced Manoj Tiwari as the CM, only to clarify within few hours, that he didn’t mean it.
It seems that from Vijay Goel, Vijendra Gupta to Manoj Tiwari, all of them want to be the CM, while the most popular accepted face of Delhi BJP is Dr.Harshvardhan; but his name is still not in the open market and if he becomes CM face, then definitely, he will give AAP a good fight.
Some media has reported that Mr.Hardeep Puri can be a CM face of AAP and it is true then he will pose a threat to AAP as he has a superb image.
The most interesting part is that AAP says that the BJP is afraid to announce someone’s name because other contenders may damage the party, internally. If BJP announces Manoj Tiwari as CM, then it will be a cakewalk for AAP. And because of these reasons, AAP wants BJP to announce its CM candidate.
As per AAP social media team the fact that it was Kejriwal who stopped BJP in Delhi, after Modi’s win in 2014, still haunts BJP, and so they are afraid of declaring their weak candidates against Kejriwal; the work AAP has done has upgraded the expectation levels from a Delhi CM.
AAP seems to be very confident about coming back to power in Delhi but is it so easy, the absence of CM face in Delhi and regularisation of 40lakhs unauthorized housed in Delhi by the Modi government makes this election Modi vs Kejriwal round 2.
AAP says that BJP still wants to depend upon Modi’s brand, Hindutva, Pulwama, Triple Talaq and Article 370 but they don’t want to talk about an economic slowdown, job cuts, and other major issues. The cut in the education budget and onion prices, milk prices which would be an issue of hue and cry in other governments, is fine when it comes to BJP.
Delhi government says it focuses on work and towards the upliftment of the marginalized sections of the society. It has uplifted the quality of life of people in Delhi for sure. The concept of Mohalla clinic is not only being appreciated in Delhi but other governments are also following the same – it has attracted foreign delegates as well.
The absence of a face for CM is not only the issue with BJP but INC as well; both these parties are trying hard to woo voters by leveling allegations against the AAP government and bringing purvanchalis face in the party. But the fact remains, that they have no able CM face or if they do, then they are afraid to announce it against Kejriwal.
Senior leaders of AAP says that Both INC and BJP want to attract voters based on top party leadership and ideology, but they have not come up with any clear vision. The issue of statehood for Delhi, which was a poll promise of BJP, is still an issue of debate. The curtailment of power, by taking away ‘services’ from the AAP government, only increases the controversy; the budget allocation for Delhi also seems very low.Steps such as free electricity and bus rides for women have made the situation worse for the opposition in Delhi, as they can neither oppose it nor accept it.
But, if all this is true and the election is going to be so smooth then why Kejriwal has started the policy of appeasement and his arrogance is not seen these days.
AAP has hired Prashant Kishore and coined the slogan ‘Achhe Beete 5 saal, Lage Raho Kejriwal’ and started the campaign but the hiring of Mr. Kishore has a hidden meaning also that AAP is not so confident as it is showing in public. After losing Lok Sabha badly AAP came up with a slogan that ‘Delhi Me To Kejriwal’ with has also a clear message that now Kejriwal has accepted the defeat and wants to focus on Delhi only.
Now Delhi CM who once used a term like ‘Psychopath’ for PM looks either silent or praises the center as he has understood his stature in front of Modi. Recently only on CAA Kejriwal has opposed the center because of his base vote. By regularising the 40 lakhs houses it has already dented the Kejriwal’s core vote, as everyone known that these were the base votes of AAP and Modi has affected that vote for sure.
The regularisation of 40lakhs unauthorized colony by BJP government, water quality issue in Delhi, construction of Delhi peripheral expressway by Modi government, the alleged involvement of AAP leader on Delhi CAA related violence, arrogance of Kejriwal, habit of maligning the image of anyone who is disliked by the CM Kejriwal, Kejriwal’s style of running the party like a private limited company and sacking of founding members like Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, and Kumar Vishwas as well as officials of CM’s teams, constant fight with the LG, no respect to constitutional post like PM, alleging media of bias, using Hindu-Muslim sentiments very smartly, continuous bashing from the court for inaction and spreading false propaganda, the shoot and scoot policy of AAP leaders to level allegation and then change the stand, the stand of Delhi Government of not permitting the prosecution of Kanhaiya Kumar case, apathy in Ankit Saxena case, his MLA’s solidarity stand towards Umar Khalid and party, criticizing all actions of Centre without judicial scrutiny, the continuous change in ideology just for the survival has made the image of Kejriwal as a survivalist leader, his statement after Lok sabha 2019 loss that Muslim didn’t vote at the last moment has only tarnished the image. Many leaders of this party with a difference are facing corruption charges and criminal cases.
The over expenditure in Advertisement and image of leaders like Amatullah Khan(accused of assaulting erstwhile CS Anshu Prakash and Jamia Violence), the blame game politics over delay in metro corridor and registration of unauthorized colonies, the inaction, and non-usage of fund for pollution control will add trouble for AAP for sure.
Also, Modi and Shah take the major move at the last moment and changes the game, so we should wait and see something surprising will come for sure.
Having said that, the AAP government also needs to be very cautious, as they too have a long list of controversies, regarding their stand on various issues. It needs to be very clear so that they do not repeat the mistakes they made in the Lok Sabha elections.
The 2020 election is going to be a very interesting one, as after 5 years of a power tussle, and allegations, it is again, going to be Modi vs Kejriwal.
Written By- Ashutosh Rabindra
(Advocate, studied at Campus Law Centre and Kirori Mal College, Delhi University)