Delhi University’s North Campus, which was brimming with support for the BJP during the 2013 Assembly elections and for Narendra Modi ahead of Lok Sabha polls, seems to have had a change of heart, if students’ conversations are anything to go by.
Debate competitions revolve around elections, and student after student tells you how the “muffler man” jokes have given way to “much-needed distribution of power” and “a chief minister with his own mind”.
Sample this lunch conversation over bowls of “quick Chinese food” at an eatery in Kamala Nagar. “Is so much power in one hand ever a good idea?” a student asks, referring to the BJP.
“Did you see the last rally and the jokes on Twitter? How can she worship him like this on stage when she is the CM face. She kept looking at him for approval,” another student says, referring to Kiran Bedi.
The waiter carrying steaming momos is asked for his opinion. “PM Modi, CM Kejri,” he says, to applause.
So what has changed for the BJP in such a short time? While many students blame Bedi’s anointment as the CM candidate, others blame the party’s campaign and events of the last month. “When Kejriwal says their campaign is based on low blows and not issues, how is he wrong? Take this whole debate of funding, do the commerce and finance ministers really have to come on television and talk about midnight hawala scams instead of taking action? They draw blank faces when asked about the funding of their own party?” a third-year Economics honours student from SRCC said.
That Nupur Sharma, a former DUSU leader from ABVP, is fighting for the New Delhi seat against Kejriwal finds little enthusiasm among students. “ABVP leaders are campaigning for her and while she is young and enthusiastic, where is her party’s vision for Delhi?” another student said.
In South Campus, at the Satya Niketan market, students seem warmer to the BJP. “I still support the BJP though many of my classmates have turned around. The reason I stick to the party is simple, Delhi will suffer if the AAP here and the BJP at the Centre are constantly at loggerheads,” Drishti, a student of ARSD College, said.
Rahul Sharma, a student at the School of Open Learning, said, “I come from Mandawali in East Delhi where the AAP is the only party which is talking about issues like education loans and more colleges in my area. My father works as a security guard. Water, electricity and inflation are other issues my family is affected by and the AAP is addressing all of them.”
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