Importance of Delhi Elections

Strangely, it does not matter who rules the capital of USA , England , Russia or  France. Can anyone  remember the name of the Mayor of  Bombay ?  Though Delhi is smaller than most cities , the election in Delhi  has become extremely important  for  politicians . The media gives more importance to Delhi than all the states combined.

Pullarao Pentapati

The Congress controlled Delhi for  15 years.  In 2013,    AAP  of Kejriwal defeated the Congress decisively and took away all its  vote banks .  In 2013, BJP  won  31 MLAs out of 70.   Kejriwal ( AAP) won 28 and  Congress  got  only  8 MLAs, with the  15 years  Chief Minister  Sheila  Dikshit   losing  her own seat. Congress   has  not recovered from this shock.

In 2014, after the BJP won the  7 Parliament seats in Delhi  with great margins,  winning Delhi should be very easy. But state elections are different from national elections  and suddenly  AAP of Kejriwal  has become a  strong challenger .

Challenge for all  parties  :

The BJP has to win the Delhi elections as it has won  all elections  held after  Parliament elections.  If it loses Delhi, then it will be a  major political  setback. The Congress  wants to stop the BJP somehow.   Even  allies of BJP  like Telugu Desam ,  Shiv Sena and  Akali Dal will be happy  if   BJP loses so that it  comes under  control. In fact, within the BJP, the retired   senior leadership wants  BJP to lose Delhi.

The Congress party   must improve its performance over  2013 when  It won   8 MLAs.  Otherwise, it will become an existential crisis.

Kejriwal  must form the government . Or he will become a  big loser and be forgotten. A great political  experiment in India, where a non-establishment party  led by Kejriwal could capture power in Delhi  will never happen again. So Delhi is an  issue of survival for both  Congress  party and  Kejriwal. For the BJP, if it loses Delhi, then Modi   and Amit  Shah will lose their prestige and  entire Opposition will start getting together to  stop  the BJP.

Congress  party’s strategy :

The Congress is fielding senior leaders everywhere feeling that they might get  sympathy.  If the Congress gets less  than the  24 %  votes it got in 2013 , then its revival will be a dream. Many former sympathizers   and  beneficiaries who got posts,  became  advisers , other  political parasites and nominated MPs , Governors  and some “ intellectuals “ are all waiting. The rats on a ship know if it is going to sink and  they jump off the ship first.

Kejriwal’s strategy and weaknesses:

Kejriwal won one of the greatest election victories in India  in 2013 .  Kejriwal performed miracles and won  an election defeating both  Congress and BJP  . After becoming Chief Minister, aside from poor governance and drama ,  Kejriwal  showed that he lacks soft skills. He alienated all his close colleagues.  Why have all his close associates like Shazia Ilmi ,   lawyer Prashant Bhushan ,  Yogendra   Yadav and thousands of others  left him after Kejriwal became Chief Minister ? Thousands of distinguished people canvassed for  Aam Admi party in 2013 .  When Kejriwal became Chief Minister , he showed  another side to him. Ancient Greeks  used to call this “ hubris “ or arrogance which comes with power and destroys the person. Or in India, it is called “ Vinasha kalum, Vipruthi Buddhi “.  He lost the  great strength of un-paid  enthusiastic political workers.  Kejriwal  got thousands of un-paid intelligent enthusiastic workers.  After victory,  Kejriwal embarked  on a suicidal  route where he  started insulting all popular leaders and now he is all alone. He still has  great support  amongst the poor . But his  major weakness is that he has lost  talented  leaders  to the BJP. Kejriwal has now got the Muslim support since he contested against Modi in Varanasi and continues to make  noise against MODI.  But he will lose middle class and Dalits.

The other mistake  Kejriwal committed is that he started attacking the BJP for not having a great  Chief  Minister candidate . He was right  as BJP leaders were jaded and colorless.   Kejriwal thought that people will select him as others are useless. Amit Shah started thinking and he corrected the mistake by inducting  Kiran Bedi and Shazia Ilmi, who are as  popular as Kejriwal.  Napoleon said 200 hundred years ago “ Never  interrupt your enemy when  he  is making   mistakes “. Amit  Shah  found Kiran Bedi who is equal to Kejriwal. The  lesson  that Kejriwal needs to learn is that continuous criticism of your opponents will make them correct themselves.

There is also a  desire in former supporters of Kejriwal  to extract revenge on Kejriwal . Earlier, Kejriwal had un-paid enthusiastic supporters. Now he has enthusiastic  enemies .  

BJP’s strengths and weaknesses:

The main weakness  of the BJP was that there was no leader with charisma  in Delhi. BJP  had to find  someone to equal  Kejriwal . Surveys done by  BJP showed that people wanted a strong dynamic leader in  Delhi and the BJP had none.  Then the BJP approached  retired Police Officer  Kiran Bedi to join it and she joined  BJP.

The great Chinese war strategist Sun  Tzu  2500 years ago  said that  “the element of surprise can provide a great  advantage. With an enemy, surprise can  be employed by attacking where he least expects it. “.

The  BJP surprised  both  Kejriwal and Congress by suddenly  bringing in popular  Kiran Bedi . Kejriwal never expected that  BJP would  project  Kiran  Bedi as  Chief Minister candidate as she is  the female version of  Kejriwal. The BJP gained a great advantage by this surprise move.

A large number of middle class people and youth who voted for  Kejriwal  in 2013  have gone to the BJP. The economy  is now better  than what it was  earlier. Thanks to the fall in oil prices, inflation has been controlled.

It is a triangular  fight in Delhi. The BJP cannot get   the same votes for the Delhi assembly as it did in 2014  parliament  election. The  BJP was very confident  till a month ago. But there was worry that it might not actually get a  majority. If the BJP fails to form a government in Delhi, there will be country-wide consequences. Such a defeat will harm  the BJPs’ efforts to  grow  in Kerala ,Tamilnadu , Andhra, Telengana, Odisha, Bengal and Assam.

The Bihar  elections are coming in November, 2015. A defeat in Delhi will make it difficult  for the BJP to win  in Bihar and will mean that Modi will run into a  serious united  opposition . A victory in Delhi will mean that the Congress and opposition will be de-moralized.

There is also a lesson for the BJP in its problems in Delhi. Its  leaders are not  enough anywhere in the country . If the BJP wants to grow in the  country, it will have to import leaders . The people are not un-happy. But the people are also not happy. Modi  has  to satisfy people and not just the stock market and corporate sector . If  Modi’s personal popularity goes down, then the BJP will collapse . The Delhi result will show  which way the BJP is going.

Most importantly, there was no need for this expensive  election in Delhi. The political parties should have allowed a coalition to be formed without making pious noises .  Nearly 60  sitting MLAs are contesting again.  The country could have been spared  this costly and distracting election in Delhi. Though elections were held in Kashmir, there is no government.  Can we go on having elections till some party gets a majority ? The election law should be amended  to avoid repeat elections. People are paying for this damage, not the politicians . Frequent elections cheapens democracy .

The law must be amended to avoid  a waste of money , time and cheapening of democracy.  All political parties united  to pass hard  anti-defection laws to protect themselves, not democracy . Other countries do not have such anti-defection laws.   Why  should  India ?

By Pullarao Pentapti

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