Less than two weeks ahead of the Assembly polls in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has set its campaign on a high note. Its workers have visited the unauthorized colonies and jhuggi jhopari (slum dwellers) across Delhi with its message. It’s expected that this will benefit Arvind Kejriwal in the forthcoming elections. Despite their intensive campaigning, however, it’s clear that Kejriwal’s resignation as Chief Minister last year is an issue that may haunt the party and Kejriwal himself during the Delhi polls. Even the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and the Congress have been focusing on Kejriwal’s resignation as proof of the AAP’s failure.
Last year Kejriwal suddenly decided to put down his papers. The explanation was an expressed inability to table the Jan Lokpal Bill in the State Assembly. The decision showed his immense dedication to honesty but also his lack of political acumen to get the job done in the face of tremendous adversity. Whatever the reason, this will prove detrimental in the ensuing election.
Even senior party leader and close associate Manish Sisodia admitted during the last Lok Sabha election that Kejriwal’s resignation has damaged the party’s image. Kejriwal himself had already admitted that his resignation, without consulting the people of Delhi, was a blunder.
But the times have now changed and battleground Delhi is gearing up for what may emerge to be the foremost vital elections of this decade. Whereas poll promises were discussed at length during Kejriwal’s 49-day Government, a miscalculated resignation sooner than the Lok Sabha elections affected the goodwill of the party. Kejriwal’s hope of taking advantage of the most important sacrifice of his life remained unrealized. The move heavily backfired and now the main focus rests on the forthcoming Assembly elections. These elections could further decide the prospects of Kejriwal and AAP’s future in the long term.
For this, however, the AAP is back where it feels at home – the road. But, there’s a drawback, while Kejriwal’s oratorical skills and disdain for the norms are bound to attract crowds, he will have to be careful about not repeating the earlier exercise in staging dharnaslest the resultant disruptions revive the allegations of being an anarchist.
AAP promises to slash power, water bills by half
The AAP is questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his poll promises. The AAP is once again promising slashing of the power and water tariff by 50 per cent if it is voted to power. Kejriwal has apologised to the people for quitting the Chief Minister’s post in a mere 49 days and asked them to forgive him for the past mistakes.
Kejriwal’s party is relying heavily on the votes of the poor and the Muslims to put up a decent fight. According to an AAP leader, these votes are still with the AAP although the middle class might not back the AAP totally due to Kejriwal’s resignation issue.
The favourable factor that works the most for Kejriwal is his public image as a clean politician with strong credibility attained due to his anti-corruption programmes. The political analysts say that the resignation of Kejriwal as the Chief Minister, considered a political fiasco by many, in fact served to solidify his overall image.
The AAP is showing a number of its own election surveys to prove that it’s ahead of the BJP. Some independent poll surveys done by various media groups claim that there’s a tough fight between the BJP and the AAP in Delhi, in the forthcoming election in Delhi.
The AAP has expressed confidence that its march would continue in the Capital and it would form the next Government.
No doubt, in the forthcoming election Modi versus Kejriwal battle will sure raise the political temperatures in cold Delhi throughout this winter season. The dramatic move of Kejriwal can sure prove favourable for the AAP in the long run.