oppn parties Debates and Questions: New Ways to Fool People

News Snippets

  • Amit Panghal becomes first Indian male to win silver at the World Boxing Championships
  • "Gully Boy" to be India's entry for the Oscars
  • Rajeev Kumar called an "absconder" by the CBI
  • Alipore court refuses to grant anticipatory bail to Rajeev Kumar
  • Trump likely to sign a mini trade deal with India next week
  • Government planning a loan mela to cover 400 districts in two phases
  • PM Modi says Kashmiris need a hug from all Indians
  • NPA tag will not be put on any MSME till March 20
  • Government likely to announce another economic stimulus package today ahead of the GST Council meet in Goa
  • Air Marshall RKS Bhadauria, slated to retire just a few days from now, to be the next chief of IAF
  • PM Modi slams politicians from his own party who are making irresponsible statements on the Ayodhya case and tells them to wait for the Supreme Court order
  • Telecom panel says resident welfare associations (RWA) cannot give monopoly access to any one service provider and infrastructure in public spaces and residential complexes will have to be shared by all
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Amit Shah, tells him there is no need for an NRC in Bengal
  • After 14 days, there is no hope left for reviving Vikram, the moon lander
  • CBI teams search for elusive Rajeev Kumar
Election Commission announces elections in Maharashtra and Haryana on October 21. Counting and results on October 24. Bypolls, including for 15 seats in Karnataka, will be held simultaneously
oppn parties
Debates and Questions: New Ways to Fool People

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The BJP has decided that it will ask Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party 5 questions daily as part of its campaign in Delhi elections. This, it seems, is in response to Kejriwalâ€â"¢s repeated calls for televised debate with Kiran Bedi. Each party is entitled to its own devices. While Kejriwal is comfortable scoring points in a debate, the BJP thinks it will be better off asking questions. As Kiran Bedi will not get into a debate with Kejriwal and he in turn will not answer the questions lobbed at him, the people of Delhi will lose out on getting to know who stands for what.

Not that it matters all that much. Indian elections were never about debates between candidates. They are more about unverified and almost defamatory charges leveled against political opponents. As long as the penalty imposed by the Election Commission for such transgressions remains light (barring someone from campaigning etc.) these charges will continue to be thrown about, if not by big-wigs then certainly by hand-picked henchmen.

The BJP wanted to rattle AAP by bringing in Kiran Bedi as its chief ministerial candidate. Although it has managed to do so in so much as AAP is now concentrating all its firepower on Bedi and has almost forgotten PM Modi, the move has also backfired because it has brought the partyâ€â"¢s ratings down. While opinion polls before Bedi entered the fray were predicting a majority for the BJP, post Bedi they are giving AAP an equal number of seats. What is worse is that Kejriwal still remains the first choice of the people for the CMâ€â"¢s chair.

Although there are still a few days left for polling day and Modi is scheduled to address rallies in different parts of Delhi in the interim, it seems that it will be an uphill task for the party to recover lost ground. It remains to be seen if Narendra Modi is able to convince the people of Delhi (as he did during the Lok Sabha elections when the BJP won all 7 seats in the capital) in his rallies in the beginning of February. If his magic has waned then it will be back to square one with a hung assembly in Delhi.