The factors having their origin in the politics and governance of the main political rival Congress that helped Modi Factor become Modi Wave/Modi Charisma in the Lok Sabha polls – full-blown and corrosive anti-incumbency against the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, allegations of massive political corruption on many leaders of the UPA government with huge scams and piling up court cases, always going up prices and the arrogance around allegations of disproportionate assets of Robert Vadra – are not there to exploit in the run-up to the assembly polls in Delhi, slated to be held on February 7.
Congress was BJP’s main target in Delhi in 2013 when the Modi Wave was still in making. But Sheila Dikshit’s Congress government of three terms paid the price of allegations of political corruption, arrogant statements of ruling politicians including Sheila Dikshit and the anti-incumbency wave against Union Government in the 2013 assembly polls.
But the elections threw an unexpected challenger in Delhi’s political arena – Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) – with faces from the massive anti-corruption movement of 2011. AAP emerged as the second largest party denying BJP a clear majority and later on forming a short-lived government with support from Congress.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, riding on the Modi Wave and on the ‘deserting act of Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minster of 49 days’, BJP won all the seven Lok Sabha seats and was ahead in 60 of 70 assembly segments.
AAP is the main target now. But BJP does not have the factors that were there then in 2013 assembly polls and in 2014 Lok Sabha polls that helped BJP to charge, to attack the main rival in clear terms.
Arvind Kejriwal’s government was aborted by Kejriwal himself in just 49 days, for which he apologised later on. Being short-lived, there is no anti-incumbency against Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party. Additionally, Kejriwal did deliver on his promises of taking on corruption and started on giving relief on power and water tariffs, even if from temporary measures.
And add to it – before Kiran Bedi’s crash landing in BJP and her swift coronation as the party’s chief-ministerial face – Arvind Kejriwal enjoyed a position in Delhi that Modi had enjoyed in the country in the Lok Sabha polls – Modi had no rival prime-ministerial candidate and Kejriwal so far had no rival chief-ministerial candidate. And we are still not sure how effective Kiran Bedi would be in taking on Kejriwal. She was crowned only yesterday with polls just 18 days away midst the reports of anger, displeasure and factionalism in Delhi BJP over her induction and ascension bypassing many senior leaders.
Yes, Kejriwal’s short-lived government had many shortcomings. But a rational mind may think that if the mainstream politicians can be given chances in spite of the serious allegations like rioting, corruption, misappropriation of the public office, nepotism and even murder and rape, why can’t and why shouldn’t these folks and the political experiment associated with them be given a chance, a full five years?
After all, the country is looking for the change in its political culture and the discourse around it and such experiments should be welcome.
It is in many voters’ mind. It should be in AAP leaders’ thinking. And it should be in thinking of the BJP think-tank.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–/