Many feel, and perhaps not without reason, that the upcoming Assembly elections in Delhi are going to present the toughest test for the BJP led by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. Their biggest challenger is the AAP, which managed to win its first-ever election in Delhi and staved off the threat from much more established rivals such as the Congress and the BJP. At that point of time Dr. Harsh Vardhan who had been on the cusp of becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi – he presently is a Union Minister – was thwarted by Arvind Kejriwal. However, Kejriwal’s relative inexperience in the world of politics became evident when he put down his papers a few months into his term. This basically sent the whole governance system of Delhi into disarray.
One feels that this fact would be in the minds of the voters. However, the BJP is in no mood to relent. After all, 2014 has been a year of meteoric rise for the party. Its performance in the nationwide Assembly polls also were unprecedented – in fact, it won by so many votes that it could have formed Governments all by itself, without coalition. It is but natural that the party would like the trend to continue in 2015 as well.
If the BJP were to lose in the Delhi Assembly elections it would indeed be a major disaster for all concerned with the party. To start with, it will make the results of the last year look like a flash in the pan. It would also be insulting for Narendra Modi, whose influence has helped the party cross the choppy waters of Indian politics. A loss would invariably have some serious repercussions for the party in both short and long-term especially in the State level elections that follow.
Delhi and future elections
The party is supposed to figure prominently in the elections of West Bengal that will take place in 2016 and a loss in Delhi could put some the leverage into the hands of Mamata Banerjee, the beleaguered Chief Minister who in the last few days has seen her trusted aides being put behind bars. From the looks of it the party in power is rather desperate to win the Delhi elections. This is evident by the inclusion of former members of AAP such as Kiran Bedi. She is right now being touted as the Chief Minister-elect for the BJP in Delhi. This is also being regarded as an effective step considering the fact that now the attention is only on Bedi as opposed to Modi before.
This will also ensure that in case the BJP is unable to win the Delhi elections, there would be a rather convenient scapegoat in the former IPS officer. There are also reports within the media that the lower echelons of the party are seeing a significant amount of infighting. Everyone knows for a fact that the Delhi unit of the BJP is not really cohesive and focused. After all, it was a BJP leader who provided AAP the proof it needed to expose Satish Upadhyay.
Both the AAP and the Congress have already announced the names of their candidates for the elections that will take place on February 7. However, the BJP is yet to do that. The situation in the party is such that even sitting MLAs are not sure they will get a ticket to contest the elections and nobody knows the reasons for this delay. The party was unable to get police permission for Amit Shah’s rally. Before such an important election, BJP supporters would be fairly disconcerted to see the mess the party is in.