After the Exit Poll results on February 7, the day of voting..
1. Was BJP always in two minds on its chances in Delhi and that ultimately resulted in the mess that we saw in these assembly polls, as it could really never assess its ground properly and that made it try to delay the Delhi polls until polls became inevitable? Assembly polls could have been held soon after the Lok Sabha polls. Instead, BJP chose to keep on delaying the polls. Let’s safely assume that had the BJP’s central leadership decided on facing the polls earlier, the Lieutenant-Governor nod, with L-G being a central government appointee and representative, would never be an issue.
2. The natural question that emerges from this is – what made BJP feel so, not sure of its chances – especially after a brilliant history making performance in the Lok Sabha polls?
3. The natural corollary, in turn to the previous question is – did the BJP believe, in spite of making a war-cry about it in public, that the ‘deserter act’ was not enough to put Kejriwal in the dock of an incriminating public trial? Going by the projections of the Exit Polls, it seems BJP was right, if its leaders indeed thought so.
4. That takes us spontaneously to the next question – if it was so, if BJP was not confident about the ‘the deserter tag card’, why didn’t it build an alternate strategy to corner Kejriwal? Throughout the campaign run, the main point to target Kejriwal was ‘his deserter act’ mixed with ‘alleged acts of anarchy by Kejriwal and his camp like protests against an elected government’ .
5. So, where did BJP err – in calculating the anti-Kejriwal or anti-AAP public sentiment – or in assessing the ground beneath its feat in Delhi’s politics – or in both?
6. Or was it an act of sheer negligence, fuelled by over-confidence? Winning the Lok Sabha polls with clear majority, first party to do so after 1984, and winning three assembly polls in quick succession, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and emerging as the second largest party in Jammu & Kashmir – did the confidence thereafter make Delhi a light affair for BJP strategists who believed things could be managed but when they realized the seriousness of affairs, of their faulty handling of Delhi elections, it had become too late to reverse the tide?
7. Who are all responsible for this negligence? Would BJP do an honest introspection to plug the holes given the fact that an AAP sweep would be an underperformance by BJP and would hurt party’s chances in cracking the citadels of electoral politics in India – Bihar this year, West Bengal the next year and Uttar Pradesh in 2017. Losing these three states would make a 2019 re-run much more difficult for Narendra Modi and BJP.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–/