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.
Why the elections in Delhi was delayed
No one knows for sure why the elections in Delhi was delayed for such a long time and there are many theories, but had it been held back in September or October 2013, BJP would have won. However the only logical explanation I could arrive was BJP was biting for time. The sudden turnaround of our economy and the foreign policy victories just kept adding the allure of Modi which they thought they could package and sell it all over India and it worked. The second hypothesis is let the people of this city get by without a proper government to degrade AAP and in time people will just plead to the BJP to take over and all this would have been a walk in the park. However they forget AAP has perhaps the best network at the local level and the time given to them allowed them to borrow deeper into the marrow of the people’s psyche which was the most important factor of the outcome of this election.
Kiran to the Rescue
Is that a bird or plan, no it was Kiran Bedi and she does not need a cape or any superpower to prove herself as worthy leader and convincing her to run for the post of chief minister was a master stroke by Amit Shah. It created a ripple effect and one could see shoulders of AAP supporters drooping with a very good prospect of losing Delhi election. Kiran Bedi in a matter of less than 24 hours galvanized BJP and hopes ran high. But behind the scene there was dust of dissent and disappointment for many Delhi BJP leaders who felt it was their time to shine after years of hard labor and service to their party. But it was not be and the sudden lateral elevation of Kiran Bedi a rank outsider and critic of BJP and Modi was not taken very well. The smiles which we saw on the dais and all the hand weaving of all the local leaders was forced on them by the party high command.
But soon Kiran Bedi started to fumble and her gaffs became the cause of embarrassment and an opportunity for AAP. Her direct attacks on Kejriwal were not well received and the dignified response of Arvind Kejriwal and always talking about the issues hit a nerve with the people and slowly the opinion started to change. Kiran Bedi is one of the liveliest people one can ever hope to come across and her drive, energy and enthusiasm has no bounds, but there lies her weakness. Her outspoken and authoritative approach towards addressing concerns came across as someone who was too eager to please. Her contribution in such a short time was remarkable. But clearly she was underprepared and fumbled throughout her campaign and this smart, bold women of substance was used by the BJP as means to an end and the people were able to see through that.