Battleground Delhi: Trying To Understand The Undercurrent Of The Election

Elections in any democratic country should have been a normal act. Electing their representatives to lead governance in the country, state or any local system of governance, where the things should be for the betterment of the people, and their requirement for leading a dignified life. But, for some time, in our country, elections have been becoming instruments to encroach inappropriate power.

In our country, for quite some time, elections have no longer been ‘normal’ activities. You need money and god knows what more to fight an election at any level. In this city, with which I have been associated with for more than 15 years after I migrated from my village in Bihar, we have elections coming up for the Legislative Assembly, on February 8. For almost two months, there has been something or another happening, to polarise this election.

(L-R) Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal; PM Modi.

I was trying to understand the undercurrent of the election for a couple of weeks, and its seems as if, despite all efforts being made by the world biggest party in Delhi, whatever I could sense of people’s mood in Delhi, they are still not able to think of going against Arvind Kejriwal. I would like to share two events, which I can say, can give us a clue, and is in the favor of AAP. This may be some kind of change one can sense before the last twenty-four hours of polling that is scheduled for February 8.

First, on Sunday, I went to the Kalkaji area, where I saw two people in the market involved in a serious argument, but, were calmly trying to convince each other. One was from the party, and he was trying hard to convince the other one, but he was adamant about supporting AAP. His logic was simple, that he doesn’t want to stop all the development work, particularly related to education, health, and other social services delivery.

The second interaction was with an auto driver, from the Badarpur Assembly segment. Usually, when I try to start a conversation with new people in urban cities like Delhi or Mumbai, I ask about their family, where they belong back in the village, and how they came to Delhi, and more.

On Monday, I directly started talking about the Delhi election. Initially, he was a bit reluctant, but slowly he shared his opinion and position. He categorically said that, in the general election, he supported Modi for prime minister of India. But, in the Delhi election, his aim was to elect Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of Delhi. He said that people like him can’t afford to have any other chief minister.

He further said, “I am migrant from UP, somehow, established my family in Delhi, This Delhi government led by Kejriwal has been ensuring free light, improved education, and the health facilities in the mohallah clinics.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP has seemingly failed to achieve any significant win in state assembly elections, post the 2019 general elections, so can we see a repetition of this in Delhi too? The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, is hugely popular, and there are no anti-incumbency factors in the field.

The main opposition party, the BJP, doesn’t have a CM face in Delhi to show, and their strong and long-time electoral partner, the Akali Dal was, initially reluctant to fight elections in Delhi, and were opposing the current form of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Sukhbir Singh Badal gave his opinion in the Parliament during the discussion on the CAA.

We will have to wait till February 11, when the final results for this election will be announced. Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, might not match the result of the previous assembly elections, where they got 67 out 70 seats. But, I think they will have more than a comfortable majority so as to rule Delhi for the next five years.

The real struggle for the opposition in Delhi would be to secure sufficient seats, at least more than 10% of the total seats, to keep a vigil over the work of the ruling party, so that democracy can run smoothly without any attempts to grab power, which is evident in our county.

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