BJP Seems To Be Losing It in DelhiThe BJP is getting it all wrong in Delhi. Used to fighting defined political opponents who are more or less mirror image of it, the party and its chief strategist, party president Amit Shah, are trying time tested methods and are finding them ineffective. The AAPÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢s popularity is soaring with each passing day and it now leads in all opinion polls. NDTV has conducted a poll of polls (see accompanying picture) which clearly show that AAP may walk away with a simple majority.
By Sunil Garodia
The move to bring in Kiran Bedi has misfired, as this writer had said it will as early as 16th January, the day after she joined BJP. (Read: Kiran Bedi's Joining BJP Can Backfire.) Although the party shows it is united, there are deep cracks as Bedi campaigns. The ordinary worker is not enthused to ask for votes in the name of an ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬ÃÅoutsiderÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢, ignoring his own ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬ÃÅnetajiÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢. He is confused that with netajiÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢s role reduced, how he will get the ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬ÃÅreturnsÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢ after victory.
The charge that Kejriwal is a bhagoda and that he backstabbed Delhi (as PM Modi said in his campaign speech) has been used to death and more importantly, neutralized by Kejriwal by his repeated apologies. Kejriwal keeps admitting his mistake of resigning after 49 days the last time and promises to look after Delhi for five years if elected this time. The people seem to be willing to give him a second chance.
While the BJP is going hammer and tongs at AAP and Kejriwal, even picking up a charge by a little known NGO that the AAP has laundered money while accepting donations and calling it ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã "hawala at midnightÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬ÃÂ, Kejriwal keeps it simple. He refutes all charges, challenges the government to arrest him, asks the people not to waste their vote by voting Congress, tells them that each person is expected to influence 10 more in his locality to vote for AAP and asks his supporters to keep watch for rigging of EVMÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢s (where, he says that pressing the jhadu button makes the light blink on the lotus).
It is clear that the BJP has misread the challenge from AAP and Kejriwal. It expected standard responses to standard challenges. Instead, Kejriwal mocks it by challenging the government (CBI, IB, Police, Income Tax and Courts are all with them, so why donÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢"Â¢t they arrest me if I have done anything wrong?) at each of his meetings. Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley are shell shocked and do not know how to react.
This is one battle the BJP seems to be losing, despite employing excessive firepower.