To be or not to be that is the question and come 10th of February 2015 we will know who gets to be “TO BE & who gets NOT TO BE.” Will it be the anointed BJP under the inspiring leadership of Narendra Modi or will it be Arvind Kejriwal the “Constant Agitator” and the way things are going the number one contender for the post of Chief Minister. These are questions which have plagued this city for the last one month and no effort has been spared to reach out to the beleaguered and confused masses of Delhi who has been living without a government for over 12 months.
It was a colossus error of judgment on the part of AAP to dissolve the Delhi Assembly back in January 2014 and the idea I suppose was to play the role of Selfless Martyr who was or were not interested in power did not work in their favor. This idea backfired and the result of the general election was the naked truth. AAP abandoning Delhi when they could have solidified their position left a very bad taste in the mouth of people and they have still not forgotten. But it seems the tactics employed by the BJP has washed away most of the bitterness felt by the people of this city.
Now a while back the BJP made a huge strategic error when it created a situation where the Delhi Election became a contest between “Modi Vs Kejriwal” and that is the only reason BJP had to rope in Kiran Bedi who being India’s first women Indian Police Service graduate was called the game changer like Sarah Palin was hoped for John McCain and we all know what happened then. Now enough has been said and written about her and the things that she did as a law enforcement officer. However the decision to make her the chief ministerial candidate if it was considered a master stroke a while back is now haunting BJP right now because in reality it was a desperate move to give Delhi BJP a leader who can actually be tagged as electable worthy.
By equating Kejriwal to Modi BJP was forced them to drop a political novice like Kiran Bedi in the fray in the eleventh hour and soon this whole election became cult of personality rather issues based. Now she is no spring chicken but she was never really a political person and her past statements against the BJP and Narendra Modi gave the opposition to tag her as opportunistic and within the BJP she was considered as someone who had tormented them.
The point is, from the BJP there was no one who was well known and the man who could have been CM, Harsh Vardhan is now a minister in the center. But the decision to bring Ms. Bedi absolutely did not go to well with the leaders of the Delhi BJP Unit who for posterity put up a brave smiling face, but within there was and still is lot of anger and resentment. These leaders had worked for years to build a political career and had aspirations which were squashed by the High Command for saint of reason.
Though I am not a huge fan of the AAP and their holier than thou image which they try to portray, one thing is clear if BJP loses Delhi it would be a physiological blow to their moral. All the victories they have enjoyed after the success they had in the General election from winning in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and just an unbelievable results which they managed to achieve in Jammu & Kashmir is truly a testament to the leadership of Prime Minster Modi and his leadership. But Delhi is the key which they want and have failed to hold on to for the last 16 years. When Sheila Dixit won her last assembly election just before the general election of 2008 the whole zeal and momentum was lost and one could easily see that in the eyes of its leaders. That will be not the case if the BJP loses in Delhi, but the defeat will galvanize the lost parties like the Congress who have plenty of money in their coffers to get back in the game again.
Congress, Rahul Gandhi and Ajay Maken are the non entity in these elections but they would be the spoil sport for BJP and there vote share will go to AAP is a foregone conclusion. “It is good to lose (Congress) rather than see your enemy (BJP) win” that is the mind set the congress party has and is on a self sabotaged mode for long term gains. On the surface they talk about how much they dislike AAP but the reality is the hate the BJP more.
It is very surprising Amit Shah gave up his election winning formula for Delhi and resorted to talk about Arvind Kejriwal rather than issues. Also the no show of BJP’s election manifesto and a vision document in its stead gave detractors more ammo and to add to the lack of popularity of Kiran Bedi within the BJP and her ineffective campaigning further accentuated problems. When a successful party like the BJP employees so many central ministers for campaign then it means in the eyes of the common masses they are in trouble. It is what one calls it as Overkill. To bring super heavy weights to fight a middle weight which is what AAP is, is a tactical and strategic blunder.
The problem with AAP is they still act like activist and people are looking for responsible and honest politicians who will serve the people. We do not want more agitation we want action and measure to solve the problems which has plagued this city for a very long time. It seems from all the exit polls that AAP just might cross the finishing line. But in the eternal words of Nizamuddin Auliya “Delhi is far yet” and come 10th of February we will know who will be Tughluq.
They say never go by what an exit poll would suggest the outcome of an election and if anyone believes that they are wrong but these days pools are getting it more right than wrong . But it seems very clear that come tomorrow 10th of February BJP will not get the keys to Delhi and the physiological loss will be very difficult to bear. Now BJP will have to spend its energies to defend Prime Minster Narendra Modi because the whole premise of Delhi campaign was “Modi.” Now since the BJP will lose and maybe by a significant margin, Amit Shah’s election experiment will be questioned and a new strategy will have to be put in place for Bihar and in Kashmir the last frontier forming a coalition government is still a bridge too far. The same formula which was used over and over completely blindsided BJP and the staunch refusal to even comprehend in change of strategy was blasphemous to them.
For BJP the Modi factor was like getting their hands on the Elder Wand from Harry Potter and they welded it so many times it they just wore it out. Everyone would agree, they were arrogant and expected a walkover or they thought they could walkover all other political parties and especially AAP since the Congress was and now officially a non entity in the political framework of India. Rahul Gandhi is now the Bahadur Shah Zafar of congress party and just a mare symbol by whom few vested interests will latch on until he is bone dry.
But that was not case with AAP under the leadership of a very diminutive Arvind Kejriwal or at least that is what he made everyone believe. BJP underestimated Kejriwal and in the in the book The Art of War San Tzu said “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.” The AAP was not inferior but the BJP was certainly arrogant. He was called a lot of names which are now part of the folklore of these elections and one must concede he took all the jabs, punches and the kitchen sink which was thrown at him with grace under fire. Not once he lost his cool which must have infuriated the BJP more than anything. Politics is perception and he managed to change the perception of the people of Delhi rather convincingly. BJP kept talking about Kejriwal and AAP kept talking about Issues.