Why BJP has no CM face to match Arvind Kejriwal?
by ittisikhushi | Updated January 11, 2020
The raging debate in the national capital is Kejriwal vs who? More than a debate, it’s a challenge thrown open to BJP by AAP. The ruling party is confident that opposition has no face to match the charisma of their leader. Sounds like deja vu?
This is the same question BJP tossed at everybody in 2014 and later in 2019 –Modi vs who? In 2014, the wave for BJP emerged more from the ‘Gujarat Model’ of Narendra Modi. He was perceived as a magician who would fix the country with a sway of wand. Most ardent BJP supporters would agree Modi 1.0 proved that he had no magic wand. In 2019, the battle was completely fought on ‘Modi vs who?’. Well, because of course not one great act of magic was demonstrated in the first tenure that could be boasted about. However, there were some disappearing acts –millionaires vanishing from country after looting it to core, not sure if that helped. Anyway, ‘Modi vs who?’ worked. The people imagined Rahul Gandhi as their PM and skipped the ‘hand’ on the EVM.
In Delhi, the situation is similar and yet different. Think Manoj Tiwari, Vijay Goel, Kapil Mishra and you would be done in minutes. There is not much to think. The only people with some sort of stature in Delhi BJP camp are Gautam Gambhir and Dr Harshvardhan. Gautam Gambhir is a late entrant. He didn’t have a lot of time to build a presence in Delhi.
However, Dr Harshvardhan had all the time in the world as an MP from Chandni Chowk to establish a bond with the people. He had ample opportunities to step up his game and be more vocal in Delhi politics. And let’s be honest, he totally failed. Either his absence from the scene was voluntary or it was just the BJP pushing Manoj Tiwari forward. Either way, BJP lost a credible leader who could have been a force. They didn’t invest in him and instead tossed the Purvanchali card on the table and perched back to see some magic happen.
Manoj Tiwari was never a strong orator. He barely knows his facts and is often clueless in debates. And the most we have seen of Delhi BJP in the past few years has been him. Nobody can tell other than Modi and Shah if that was intentional but just try and understand it. In the Modi vs who debate the ‘who’ was always known –Rahul Gandhi. In Delhi you conveyed to the people, it’s ‘Kejriwal vs Manoj Tiwari’. Just keep a hand on your heart and say if that’s even a fair competition?
Let’s roll back to 2014 again, the Gujarat Model worked for Modi because it was the talk of the town. Everybody was talking about it –how a CM in Gujarat was propelling his state to new heights with some innovative ways of development. In 2020, Arvind Kejriwal sits at the same pedestal. The whole nation is whispering that one man and his alternative ways of governance have transformed schools and healthcare. And how he brought financial relief to people with his bijli-paani politics in times when we are told price rise is normal.
And Delhi is not just whispering. They are screaming their lungs out in favour of their CM. In 2015 they were silent in their support. They went to the booths and pressed the broom. The results took everybody aback. In 2020, after 5 years of governance, the people of Delhi are actually coming out in open and boasting how they made a good choice in 2015. And that’s some achievement. They would narrate their stories –how they got benefited from various government schemes with a broad smile. It’s just the Dilliwale way of saying –see, we told you.
What is out in open is that there is no real infighting in the BJP camp at the moment to be the CM candidate. Imagine if there was any anti-incumbency against Arvind Kejriwal? The prospects would have been running to Shah. The fact is there is none and hence the cakewalk for AAP.
There are some whispers in media quarters that an outside face might be roped in to contest against AK –something they did with Kiran Bedi. So when they lose they have somebody to pin the blame on. Anybody falling for this is a fool. Remember, how the BJP cadre backed away from supporting Kiran Bedi in 2015? There were hardly any people in her road shows. There are just far too many people with personal ambitions in Delhi BJP.
The people know BJP failed to live up to expectations but they still voted in Lok Sabha because well, there was nobody else to vote for. State politics is different. And Delhi is very different. Here they have got Arvind Kejriwal. He was perceived honest back then. 5 years on, he is still honest. The power didn’t change him. And in fact, the past 5 years gave public many more reasons to love him even more.
Make no mistake. The people of India are looking for change. They are distraught with the way the system works and want better. They voted for Modi in anticipation of that change. And they might just vote for Kejriwal because he proved in his tenure that he could actually bring change –the alternative the country needs, something Narendra Modi is yet to prove.
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