This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Naomi Hazarika. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

As Delhi Gears Up For Elections, Here’s What The Political Battlefield Looks Like

More from Naomi Hazarika

By Naomi Hazarika:

The walls of every second metro in Delhi are either plastered with saffron posters of Modi’s grinning face or pictures of the broom with Arvind Kejriwal as AAP’s mascot. As Delhi gets ready to go to elections again on the 7th of February 2015, speculations are running high as to who will end up with how big a chunk of the electorate. There are 70 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Delhi up for grabs, out of which neither of the major parties could score the magic majority number last time around. 33.1% seats went to the Bharatiya Janata Party, 29.5% to the Aam Aadmi Party and 24.6% to the Indian National Congress. After the BJP could not form the government, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung invited AAP to attempt to form the government as it was the second largest party after the BJP. AAP managed to form a minority government with outside support from the Congress for which it was heavily criticised. AAP’s leader Arvind Kejriwal followed outgoing Sheila Dixit as Chief Minister, but the government could not last very long. He resigned after 49 days citing unsuccessful attempts to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill as his reason for resigning.

delhi assembly elecgtions 2015

As the fervour of democracy sweeps the city, leading opinion polls have their own story to tell. The latest poll by ABP News-Nielsen published on the 15th of January 2015 predicts that the BJP would win 34 seats, AAP would be in the second place with 28 and Congress will grab 8 seats. India Today, as of December last year, predicted that the vote share would be 36% for AAP, 39% for BJP and 16% for Congress. Most of the opinion polls have one thing in common, the fact that this is going to be a head on fight between the BJP and AAP. Newspapers and news channels are split on the issue of who will manage to take away the largest chunk, but with the BJP stepping up its game, predictions of the lotus outnumbering the broom are many. The Bharatiya Janata Party had till now run its game on the Modi card, with his mantras of prosperity and development spearheading the party’s pre-election events. It was Modi’s face on most of the posters in Delhi with the occasional presence of Amit Shah in the background. But the party leadership realised that calling AAP “anarchist” and a “failure” will not suffice. The party lacked a face, and Arvind Kejriwal is winning hearts around the city. So, to counter the local hero, BJP played the best move ever – it brought in Kiran Bedi as its mascot. Although the party has not released any official statement confirming this, but the fact that Amit Shah as well as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were present during her induction into the BJP shows how important a role she will be playing for the party. A pristine image and widespread respect for the former IPS officer makes her the best candidate to fight the war against AAP’s leader Kejriwal. AAP, on the other hand, is continuing its campaign on the pattern it ran during the last elections, with door to door campaigning and promises of free water and Wi-Fi for the entire city. In general, even though the party lost a sizeable chunk of its supporters due to its disappointing performance last time around, AAP continues to be the city’s favourite choice. The BJP realises the fact that it has to put up a fight against AAP if it wants a clear mandate.

Meanwhile Congress stands, if not worse, in a much more irrelevant position with regard to the elections. With old and half-meant promises of ‘development’, a few posters on the alleys of the rarely visited DMRC Airport line, the Congress isn’t invisible just in the opinion polls. With the dynamic popularity of Arvind versus the Bedi-Modi coalition, The Times of India is calling the fight a presidential style election. Kiran Bedi’s stint in activism and experience in the bureaucracy seems to be a tough factor to counter, but Arvind Kejriwal is not leaving any stones stone unturned. Whether or not the elections would result in a clear majority of either of the two parties, only time will tell. But till then, the capital is gearing up for the fight between the best which one can only hope will successfully manage to yield a result that will no longer hold governance to ransom.

You must be to comment.

More from Naomi Hazarika

Similar Posts

By Aditya Jaiswal

By Sahil Razvii

By Kunal Jha

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below