Sidharth Mishra

Delhi polls: Kejriwal won because a large majority of Hindus voted against the BJP

The results of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha polls were somewhat foretold in the statement of RSS top functionary Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi, who just a day earlier had mentioned that those opposing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were not necessarily opposing the Hindus. He also mentioned that the BJP was just a political party and it should not be equated with Hindu being.

The resounding victory of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the just concluded Delhi assembly polls has shown that a majority of the Hindus living in nation’s Capital have decided to vote against the BJP. The apparatchiks and the propagandists for the BJP are already blaming the “selfish Delhi voters” for having overlooked the “need to care for nation’s security and Hindus safety.”

Unfortunately, the BJP and its sympathisers don’t look have to look farther than its own actions in the past three months in the national Capital for its rout. The three major campuses in the national Capital -- Jamia Milia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Delhi University, have been facing an unrest for the past three months. To a great extent this has proved to be the major cause for BJP’s thrashing at the hustling.

Sidharth Mishra 2

Delhi polls: AAP or BJP set to win but Delhi to have grim time

Campaign has ended for one of the most bitterly fought elections in the city. Ever since the Delhi Assembly came into existence in its present avatar in 1993, one doesn’t remember an election where the development of the city was reduced to such a cameo role in the poll narrative.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his interview given to at least four English and same number of Hindi dailies on a single day before the campaign ended, has claimed that this was the first time that votes were being asked in the past 70 years on the basis of development work done. Such claims by Delhi chief minister are excusable as Kejriwal is known for making tall claims without much ado and then also forget about them.

The political arena of this country in the second half of the post Mandal phase has been full of instances where development work has returned leaders to office. Some of the examples being Chandrababu Naidu, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and SM Krishna down South, Naveen Patnaik in the East and Nitish Kumar in neighbouring Bihar.

In the Hindi heartland we have examples of Digvijaya Singh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh, Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and not to forget Sheila Dikshit in Delhi winning assembly polls on three occasions in 1998, 2003 and 2008 on development agenda.

Sidharth Mishra

Delhi polls: Its’s now ‘love for nation’ versus lure for freebies

Delhi is just a few days away from casting vote on February 8 to elect the new city government. As the campaign enters the last lap, three very visible points emerge: 1. Arvind Kejriwal overcame the rout the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) received in 2019 Lok Sabha to start off as favourite for the assembly polls. 2. Despite a late start, the BJP campaign has peaked matching the AAP seat-to-seat though there is absence of a charismatic face at Delhi level. 3. The Congress has frittered away the gains, in term of vote percentage, it made in 2017 municipal polls and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP performs well in Delhi whenever there is a three-way division in the vote share in the national Capital as it has a static support base, is the general perception. With the Congress campaign failing to take off with a complete breakdown of the poll campaign machinery, the AAP stands to again as it happened in 2015, polls pundits are tending to believe.

The BJP, however, is planning and executing its campaign keeping fully in mind the fact that Congress would not be able to ‘deliver’ as it is going to perform below par from what it done in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Thus, the BJP is taking a cue from their performance in the last polls, wherein their vote share was much higher than what was polled together by the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.

Sidharth Mishra

Delhi polls: In melee of Shaheen Bagh and promising freebies, development lies buried

As the campaign for February 8 assembly polls in the national capital is peaking, the narratives dictating the political fight is having a roller coaster ride. At the beginning of the campaign, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed that this was the first poll in the electoral history of Delhi that votes were being asked for the development done in the past five years.

This claim was received on a derisive note by both the opponents, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Former chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit has released a flurry of videos claiming that it was her mother who should be credited for ‘developing’ Delhi and the voters rewarded her twice in 2003 and 2008 voting her back to power.

Dikshit also claims that she would have made it for one third time too had the Anna agitation not created a ‘false propaganda’ about corruption in Delhi government. In fact, he goes a step ahead and seeks vindication for the ‘false charges’ levelled against his late mother. The Congress has lynch pinned its campaign on the development work done during the Dikshit era.

Sidharth Mishra

Delhi polls – Kejriwal’s dilemma and Modi’s dole dominate campaign narrative

With nomination process having been completed, the roadmap of the ensuing polls for Delhi assembly has been unveiled. If someone thought that the rivals BJP and even the Congress were in any mood to give a walkover to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the battle at its start point suggest differently.

In their selection of candidates, both the BJP and the Congress have reposed confidence in the ability of the soldier at the ground level, that’s the party candidate. On a close scanning of the list of the ticket allottees, it becomes quite evident that there aren’t any seats where the two older parties have fielded a reluctant person.

The best case in point is the fielding of Delhi BJP Yuva Morcha president Sunil Yadav and former Delhi NSUI president Romesh Sabharwal from the New Delhi seat against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The selection of the two has stolen from the Chief Minister the opportunity of turning his personal battle with a prominent face into a ‘Battle for Delhi’, which he himself converted the 2013 polls into by taking on then chief minister Sheila Dikshit.