DELHI VOTERS CHOICE AS CHIEF MINISTER : Shantonu Sen
If Narendra Modi threw in his hat for the Chief Minister’s post in Delhi he would win . The belief that he can do wonders in the seat of power continues to magnetically to draw people .The fact that he cannot contest for this position is undisputed. Will his proxy also be a magnet in Delhi? He was, in Haryana in a big way and to a lesser degree in Maharastra. He hopes to be in Chattisgarh . May be in Jammu and Kashmir too. On these premises, primarily, rests the challenge of the BJP as a party to have their Chief Minister in Delhi.
If Sheila Dikshit is in the affray, what then? She was in power for 15 years. The voters do not repeatedly return some one to power unless they like the incumbent. She was immensely popular. I remember on the SWG in 2010 finale she was thunderously acclaimed. Not the others. One was even booed. She was badly defeated in the last elections. That will be almost one year earlier to the time when the next elections take place. As some body very famously has said in politics seven days is long enough. Many in Delhi will be nostalgic. Many will remember her good work. She is a more acceptable than the Lovely’s and the Walias by the Congress adherents. She very well could defeat Arvind Kejriwal in her old constituency and with that one stroke incapacitate the AAP Party , a serious challenger to the gaddi of Delhi.
Arvind Kejriwal is the only face that has in all polls ,conducted by the electronic media, since the Delhi Assembly has been in suspended animation that has consistently been way ahead of all others who can be the elected Chief Minister of Delhi. He might loose his seat to Sheila Dikshit but his is the face that the people of Delhi, in large numbers, want to see in the Chief Minister’s chair. The AAP as a party however, takes a back seat to the BJP in poll forecasts under Modi. The AAP mentor, Shanti Bhusan is critical of him as an organiser . Some founder members have left the party citing that high command culture has overtaken the party. Its volunteer fleet is depleted . Contributions to the party funds is down to a trickle. Its supporters are on the horns of a dilemma ?
Why , then, is Arvind Kejriwal ahead of all others for the Chief Minister’s seat when his Party is second to BJP in the race and he himself is the object unceasing vituperative attacks? The lead anchor in the English channels castigates him day in day out. He is derided as a party supreme a “SUPREMO”. He is a “bhogora” one who runs away , a reminder that he ran away as Chief Minister after 49 days .The middle class , the upper crust is suspicious that he may nix their aspirations. A few leaders who have left the APP or who are in but have ceased to be enthusiastic and may not throw their weight behind AAP. .
Why is he in the race and ahead of others in all the polls ? Is it because the JHUGGI-JHOPRI (JJ) clusters and the lower middle class want to give him another chance? They voted for his party in General Election May 2014. Do they constitute a sizeable vote bank ? Possibly . But they traditionally vote for the Congress ? Possibly, not this time . The Congress as a party has to say “mea culpa” and “mea culpa” for the many sins it has committed or is perceived to have committed. The BJP in the MCD has also many questions to answer . Also they may have to respond to anti-incumbency. Their party MLA have been there for 15 years in the opposition and their role is the subject of several criticisms. Will then Arvind Kejriwal’s advantage be his clean slate, his 49 days of governance fighting the system from the outside as well as inside and his out of the box method of governance? But these very qualities/traits appall many voters.
Over to Delhi voters.