Intro: February 7 will decide the survival of AAP. If it loses, it will be wiped out forever. On the other hand the BJP being a cadre based party and tried and tested many times since 1952 has nothing to lose. AAP fooled the people in December 2013. They and the public know it very well.
After forming governments in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand and also registering unprecedented victory in Jammu & Kashmir, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formally kick-started its election campaign in Delhi on January 10. The enthusiasm witnessed at the Ramlila Ground made it clear that the BJP is going to form the government in Delhi also. The overall scenario is that it is going to be the BJP vs the rest.
The Abhinandan Rally was organised to welcome the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra (Shri Devendra Fadanvis), Haryana (Shri Manoharlal Khattar) and Jharkhand (Shri Raghubar Das). The presence of all these Chief Ministers and also the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah as well as various Union Ministers not only energised the party workers but also showed that the BJP is not going to leave any link weak. The Ramlila Ground was jam-packed. Not only the party workers but also the common men in large number reached the ground to listen to Modi. “It is Modi magic. Otherwise filling Ramlila Ground is not an easy task. Many parties or organisations come here but fail to fill even half of the grounds,” says Bijender Kumar, a salesman at the Indian Oil Petrol Pump just outside Ramlila Grounds.
Delhi BJP president Shri Satish Upadhyay is confident of forming a government in Delhi. Talking to Organiser he said his party has done tremendous ground work and is now ready at all fronts. Excerpts:
We are fully prepared at all levels. During the last two months, we have conducted meetings of Booth Pramukhs at all 2,650 booths. Then we had meetings of Booth Pramukhs with the MPs. We have also appointed ‘page incharge’ of the voters list. The meetings of page incharge have already been conducted in 64 Assembly seats. As far as publicity is concerned, we have already started outdoor campaigns, through Video Raths, FM Radio, social media campaign and so on. In social media too we are on top.
Mostly the old candidates will be repeated. We have not invited fresh applications from the workers. There may be change at one or two seats.
It is not an important issue. Discussion is going on and what is decided will be announced in the manifesto.
There is no need to announce the name. Modiji is our leader and the party will decide on it after the polls. We are contesting elections on Modiji, our ideology and our symbol, the lotus.
Yes, fully confident. We will repeat the results of Lok Sabha polls, when we were ahead on 60 seats.
Ramkeval works as plumber in Mandawali area. Instead of going for work on January 10, he joined the rally. “Today’s half day is for Modi. It is time to strengthen the hands of Modi as some forces are again trying to misguide the voters. All these elements have to be defeated,” he told Organiser. Dr Prabodh Upadhyay is a Central Government employee. He however did not attend the rally, but watched it on television. He says, “By making it clear that the government has no proposal to reduce the retirement age, Modiji has reduced the stress of many people.” Modi said, “I wonder who is thinking about this when government has not thought about it or issued a statement on it,” he said appealing to the electorates to defeat the “the masters” of lies.
Addressing the rally Shri Modi focused on four vital issues—uninterrupted and cheaper electricity supply, houses to slum dwellers, eradication of corruption and confusion over reducing retirement age. He promised to make Delhi slum-free by 2022 and provide houses to all.
On corruption he said he has already started it by cleaning from the top. “Trust me, I will clean up the system. I have started from the top and I will take it to the bottom. People take money from auto drivers, shopkeepers, the poor people… It will all stop,” he added. About cheaper and unintrupted electric supply Shri Modi promised 24-hour electricity and resolve water crisis also. “We will shut the voice of generators in Delhi. It will also help clean up the air by reducing poisonous gases. We are going to create competition in electric supply as is among the mobile phone service providers. The consumers will be free to select the distribution company,” he said.
Party President Shri Amit Shah and Union Ministers also addressed the rally.
After December 2013 polls Aam Adami Party (AAP) had formed the government in Delhi with Congress support but resigned in 49 days only. It is still finding tough to convince the voters why it resigned and why should it be trusted again. Though it has started an offence poll campaign again making tall promises, the middle class and slum voters, who earlier supported it en mass are not ready to trust it again.
This is a fact that many prominent faces like Kiran Bedi, Vinod Binny, Kumar Biswas, Shazia Ilmi, MS Dhir and Harish Khanna are not with him. They deserted him because of his autocratic attitude. Bedi, Dhir and Khanna joined the BJP recently. There is very much possibility that one of his previous known faces could challenge Kejriwal in his own Gole Market Constituency. Vinod Binny, who defeated Congress heavyweight from Lakshmi Nagar Constituency in 2013, has already declared it. “Supporting Kejriwal is wastage of vote. He is a phony. He can neither govern, nor agitate,” says Sunil Kumar, an advocate in Karkarduma court.
In December 2013 polls the BJP had emerged the single largest party with 31 seats and 33.1 per cent votes. AAP got 28 seats and 29 per cent votes, while the ruling Congress reduced to just 8 seats with 24 per cent votes. In 49 days of government AAP ministers and MLAs staged a number of new dramas every day by generating new controversies.
The Congress is also trying to keep its house in order. Instead of banking upon Sheila Dikshit, command has been handed over to former Union Minister Ajay Makan.
Kejriwal: Jack of all unhealthy practices
Arvind Kejriwal had claimed to enter into active politics for bringing healthy change in the system. But now he himself is setting records of indulging into unhealthy practices. Everybody knows that he is resident of Vasundhara, Ghaziabad. The Ghaziabad police too, in reply to an RTI, confirmed that he is resident of Ghaziabad, Kejriwal managed to get his name registered in the Delhi voters list. Various RTIs by Maulik Bharat confirmed that Kejriwal provided false information while applying inclusion of his name in the voters lists. Kejriwal again on January 9 applied to include his name in the voters list at new address. Maulik Bharat on January 13 objected to this fresh attempt and sent a notice to the Election Commission.
To save the face it is planning to field even the defeated MPs for Assembly seats. Many of its leaders including former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and former Minister Ramakant Goswami have refused to contest the polls. The Congress did not see such a humiliating situation in Delhi ever before.