General Elections 2014 – Day 20
Arvind Kejriwal Ji has become a self-proclaimed adviser to Advani Ji. Kejriwal suggested that Advani Ji must replace ‘v’ with ‘a’ in his name and he would discover one of the magic words Narendra Modi Ji responds too. For the uninitiated, Advani with “v” replaced with “a” becomes Adani, one of the largest industrial groups of Gujarat and one of a few who are reportedly very close to Narendra Modi Ji.
Jaswant Singh Ji went ahead and filed his nomination papers from Barmer as an independent. So strong was his resentment that he ridiculed the “NaMo-NaMo” chanting and condemned BJP’s current decision making as something straight out of Emergency of 1977. BJP was in a half-hearted damage control exercise and Amit Shah worked overtime to justify the refusal of ticket to Jaswant Singh Ji.
Sharad Pawar Ji has been busy finding ways to increase his party’s vote percentage. The Election Commission of India was not impressed and went ahead and issued a show-cause notice for Pawar Sahib’s suggestion that his cadre and supporters can vote twice by registering themselves at two places and erasing the ink. Great!
Hundreds of millions of Indian voters can thank Arvind Kejriwal for making the impending increase of gas and oil prices a poll issue. The Election Commission of India told the central government to defer any increase till the end of General Elections. Never to miss an opportunity, Kejriwal promptly thanked EC and made sure that media doesn’t forget him for making noise which helped them.
In the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji, yes, that is what Arun Jaitley Ji said, he said that the BJP / NDA government would get back to working on strategy as defined by Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji for Jammu and Kashmir. He mentioned that BJP’s approach would be from humanitarian angle though political firmness would not be compromised. Looks like after the daily debacles cost the party a lot of goodwill with moderates and thinkers, BJP has decided to invoke the name of former Prime Minister of India who is widely respected. In another indication that BJP is doing a rethink on their fundamental approach to elections, Rajnath Singh tweeted “this time it is going to be a BJP government” and sometime later he went ahead replaced BJP with Modi and re-tweeted his status.
Rank and file of BJP in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab are unhappy with BJP over its allocation of tickets. Many leaders at local level went on record saying that the biases and lack of research while finalizing names is going to cost BJP several seats, specially those given to recent imports. It looks like BJP is running numbers rather than elections and is more interested in creating brands. “Chai Pe Charcha” and now “Bharat Vijay Rallies” are two sub-brands BJP is investing in. BJP has released another number after mixed reactions to its 272+, 185. Yes, this is the number of “Bharat Vijay Rallies” BJP wants Modi Ji to address.
Twitter loves India, especially when it is election time. Most contestants and / or their agencies are pitching it as hard as they can, some are getting it right, others are not only burning their money but also burning their candidature. Chandigarh seat is seeing an interesting “Twitter war” of sorts. Essentially a three-cornered contest has narrowed down to tweets and counter tweets on Twitter. While Gul Panag, AAP candidate from Chandigarh is using her own account @GulPanag and a special purpose account @Gul4Chaange, Kirron Kher is letting her husband Anupam Kher match it by tweet to every tweet. Currently Khers are using @KirronKherBJP and @AnupamPKher accounts. With over 70,000 tweets done in her timeline, Gul Panag is using all attributes of Twitter to get her message farthest. “I know #Chandigarh, I know its strengths, I know its weaknesses, I don’t need to be tutored:-); There is change in the air #Change4Chandigarh.” Wow! Not many are aware that All India Radio is actively on Twitter, AIR release news alerts from its Twitter handle, day in and day out, crisp, sharp, no pun, no fun status updates. Sample this - #AndhraPradesh Talks between BJP and TDP over political alliance during upcoming general elections remain inconclusive.
If Twitter is being used extensively by candidates, its supporters and party functionaries and sometimes even the candidates are also using YouTube and Facebook for the same purpose. In context of Chandigarh, all three contestants are on Facebook too. Pawan Bansal has the largest community amongst the three of them, but his FB account has half the traction of FB account being managed by Gul Panag’s team. Kirron Kher’s FB account is yet to gain any significant traction.
Congress in the meanwhile has been busy urging its senior leaders to contest; in Punjab, it has its team A out there in the open and that may disturb BJP’s calculations to a great extent. Former Chief Ministers Captain Amarinder Singh and Sardarni Rajinder Kaur Bhattal are amongst its list of candidates slugging it out in the battleground.