Delhi Elections: What Cards Do Kejriwal & BJP Hold?
The 70-seat Assembly elections are important from a national standpoint as Delhi can be considered India’s microcosm
As the capital reels from the CAA fiasco and the brutal attack on JNU students, the dates for the Delhi Assembly elections have been announced. The voting will take place on 8 February and on 11 February the results will be declared.
The Party Faces
The Aam Aadmi Party is in power in Delhi and they have a clear strategy – to fight the election on Arvind Kejriwal's name. Their slogan, "Acche beete paanch saal, lage raho Kejriwal (These five years were well spent, keep at it Kejriwal)" refects this.
The BJP, on the other hand, has more to consider. Though Manoj Tiwari is the party's regional head, the BJP is looking to tackle these elections with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its face.
Why Delhi is Crucial
Delhi has just 7 Lok Sabha and 3 Rajya Sabha seats. It's not even a full-fledged state. But the 70-seat Assembly elections are important from a national standpoint as Delhi can be considered India's microcosm. These elections could accurately reflect the nation's mood.
For the BJP, which suffered losses in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, this is a crucial election. A loss here could derail the BJP's election machine entirely. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are already out of the BJP's hands and upcoming elections are in the states of Bihar and West Bengal, which are difficult areas for the party.
For the AAP, this is do or die. In 2015, Kejriwal's party had created shockwaves by winning 67 of the 70 seats, but it hasn't been able to replicate its performance elsewhere.
Kejriwal Shifts Focus
Kejriwal has changed his strategy in the past few months; instead of butting heads with PM Modi on every issue, he has started focusing on local issues such as the regularisaion of unauthorised colonies and the education levels in Delhi. The fact that the politician who made his career protesting in the streets just tweeted about CAA and JNU, is very telling.
As far as the Congress is concerned, it depends more on the weaknesses of others than its own strengths. Though an alliance with AAP is unlikely, there could be a strategic understanding to defeat the BJP in certain seats.
However, BJP looks at votes split between the Congress and AAP as an advantage while the latter thinks that the nationalist and anti-Pakistan rhetoric won't work in Assembly elections.
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