Updated: December 24, 2014 2:58:11 pm
Parliament has been in mayhem for the last few days of the Winter Session with the Opposition demanding the Prime Minister’s statement over the conversion row. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to budge, leading to deadlock in the Rajya Sabha. And if the forced conversion of 57 families wasn’t enough, the constant rabble rousing by Hindu leaders has added to the turmoil. With videos of a BJP legislator threatening citizens in Rajasthan going viral, the BJP clearly became caught in a grubby mess of its own creation.
Shockingly, Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party, who never squander any opportunity to criticise the BJP, are unusually silent, except for a few press releases and social media posts. Ever since speculation became rife that Delhi Assembly elections would be held in February, AAP has left no stone unturned in reaching out to the voters in the national capital.
Even though the official dates haven’t been announced, AAP has announced candidates for most of the constituencies. Last month, they launched the “Delhi Dialogue”, a new initiative which conducts discussions on various issues concerning Delhi such as water and electricity bills, safety of women and youth employment among others. It has helped the party to reach out to thousands of young supporters and fans. It has also adopted the strategy of “carpet-bombing” messages on major FM stations in Delhi. Noticeably, AAP is putting in enormous resources and efforts, even as the BJP is taking flak from all quarters, thanks to its affiliate groups and controversial leaders.
It seems that the BJP is depending excessively on the Modi wave to help them cruise through Delhi. However, it needs to be noted that the major reason why the BJP was able to secure resounding victories in other states was the lack of a credible and honest alternative rather than just a Modi wave. Kejriwal’s impactful 49-day tenure and his apology to the people of Delhi for his resignation are working in AAP’s favour and although it lost many middle class voters due to the resignation, the lower class voters are still in favor of an AAP government and Kejriwal as Chief Minister.
With BJP party president and election strategist Amit Shah busy with exploring Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir government formations and the party embroiled in communal controversies, clearly, the BJP needs a strong leader who can help them counter Kejriwal’s persona and AAP’s reach. Placing too much reliance on Modi without having a well planned election strategy will definitely hurt the BJP.
AAP is also reaching out to the rural areas of Delhi, which are considered BJP strongholds. Kejriwal is himself addressing many rallies and jansabhas to connect with the voters there. Furthermore,the hullaballoo about forced conversions and communal statements has severely dented BJP’s image. Since last year, BJP has been trying hard to woo the Muslim communities and the recent incidents will only bolster AAP’s prospects in the Muslim dominated constituencies.
Therefore, the current state of affairs in Delhi is providing the opportune platform to AAP to further diminish BJP’s chances and snatch ground from them. BJP’s over dependence on the Modi wave could cost them dearly and give AAP another opportunity to prove their mettle.
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