Delhi versus Delhi

2005

From all appearances, Arvind Kejriwal the maverick politician is set to return to power in the State of Delhi. In the just concluded elections to the 70-member legislative assembly, exit polls are unanimous that his Aam Admi Party, AAP, will return with a thumping majority, leaving behind the BJP which has since the Parliamentary elections 10 months ago has been riding on what has come to be described as the Modi Tsunami, and the Congress, currently battered politically and in a very low morale. As to whether the elections pundits are right will be known by the end of the day today (Tuesday) when the elections results are due to be announced. It may be recalled, if the AAP does come to power, it will be Kejriwal`™s second stint and Chief Minister of the State. The former civil servant was the 7th Chief Minister of Delhi from December 28, 2013 to February, 14, 2014 before he voluntarily and dramatically quit office after failing to table the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly. He blamed the BJP and Congress for stalling the passage of this anti-corruption bill, implying they were protecting corrupt businessmen for their own benefits.

The Delhi elections this time was billed as a referendum for the BJP government at the Centre, led by towering charismatic leader Narendra Modi. The way the Modi wave was sweeping the country, nobody a few months ago would have believed he would face such a stiff challenge from a party which many had believed would never recover from the political suicide it committed almost exactly a year ago. Although the final word is yet to be said on the verdict of the Delhi electorate, the mood right now seems to suggest the BJP Goliath has met more than its match in the AAP David. If this does prove to be the scenario when the results are announced, for sure, the country can expect some very interesting drama in the coming months. The battle for Delhi would have then transition into another high pitched phase, as Kejriwal`™s Delhi government can be predicted safely to take on Modi`™s Union government. Kejriwal, as some political observers have so aptly described, is marked by an `insurgent`™ instinct, and although he too will be in political power, he will predictably remain suspicious of people in power. The country has seen how he even as a Chief Minister during his last stint, resorted to staging street protests and dharnas. He has also been alleging Prime Minister Modi, among others, is in league with corporate houses to plunder the country.

It is likely the battle between Kejriwal`™s Delhi and Modi`™s Delhi will get acrimonious and even ugly. However, not for any leanings towards the political ideologies of the parties the leaders belong to, but simply for the belief that a democracy without an effective opposition is no democracy, we would welcome AAP`™s re-entry into Delhi State`™s corridors of power. Till Kejriwal`™s opposition came about in the run up to the Delhi elections, it had seemed the Modi wave was sweeping away all political opposition to the ruling party into complete insignificance. Hence, even for somebody who has nothing particularly for or against the ruling party, this would have come across as dangerous for the democratic polity. From this vantage, it must be said, AAP`™s takeover of the Delhi darbar, if it at all happens, is good for the country and indeed the ruling BJP.

Leader Writer: Pradip Phanjoubam

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