All projections and analysis of the coming Delhi elections take it for granted that it is a fight between the BJP and AAP while the Congress is likely to come a cropper with reduced seats.
In the last elections in Delhi the BJP had come up with 31 seats, AAP 28 and Congress had won eight seats in the 70 member Delhi Assembly. This was a landmark election as far as Delhi is concerned because before this there was never an unstable government in Delhi. It was either the Congress or the BJP which was in power but both completed their full term in office because they returned with majority.
But much has changed since then. A lot of people, who had great hopes from Kejriwal are angry with him because he resigned after 49 day s of a chaotic rule. The BJP is also not as aggressive as it was seven months ago because being in power is different from staging dharnas and staging walk-outs.
The Prime Minister is also believed to have pulled up some of his ministers only recently for not being aggressive enough in getting positive coverage of their ministries. The Congress did the wisest thing under the circumstances by keeping away from the media glare as they had virtually no face to show after the drubbing they got.
But given the state of political flux is it possible to crystal gaze into the results of the Delhi elections 2015? It is certainly worth a try or what are journalists meant for?
As of now the AAP and BJP seem to be the main parties in contention for being the single largest party in Delhi on February 10 when the results will be out. This is evident from the hoardings and posters of the two parties peering at us from every nook and corner of the city.
The Delhi Metro seems to have become the most sought after vehicle for publicity, literally in this election. It is an interesting sight to find two trains at one plat-form, one calling the people to vote for Kejriwal and the other saying Chalein Modi ke saath.
The Congress has been on the defensive for far too long. But the announcement that Congress spokesperson and former Speaker of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha Ajay Maken will be the face of the Congress campaign can be a real game changer, terms and conditions apply.
Maken has been one of the best known faces of Delhi whose stature is only next to Shiela Dixit. While Dixit was at the helm of affairs in Delhi, Maken was deliberately kept engaged with national politics because his group could have created problems for her.
But now that Dixit has herself ruled herself out of contention in this election Maken can gracefully step in and take charge for the battle ahead. Maken is known to be close to 10, Janpath but so was Dixit or she would not have lasted so long. She was consumed more because of the misdeeds of Suresh kalmadi in the Commonwealth Games than by her own acts.
But all that is past. Maken is a seasoned, tech savvy and methodical leader who knows Delhi like the back of his hand. And more importantly, he also knows the leaders of the BJP he has to contend with because the Delhi BJP has not created any new leaders in recent years.
The real danger to Maken is not from BJP or even AAP. His Achilles Heel could be his own party leaders, supporters of leaders like Dixit or Jagdish Tytler who have always considered him a nonentity. If they mind their own business which means keeping away from politics for the next two months Maken with his clean image could take the Congress to a respectful position in these elections.
The BJP will also find the going tough if they do not project a powerful leader to head the Government. A seasoned campaigner of the party said on condition of anonymity We will hand-over the leadership of Delhi to Kejriwal if we persist with old hackneyed names like Vijay Goel or jagdish Mukhi. Even Modi will not be able to help us unless we project Dr.Harshvardhan as our candidate in these elections.
Kejriwal is the only one who has nothing to lose in these elections. Last time he had shocked even himself by bagging 28 seats on his debut in Delhi. But his behavior as Chief Minister and some of his ministers shocked his supporters among the youths so much that many of them have given up on him as anarchist.
Moreover, what might go against him at this point of time is that people by and large are quite satisfied that governance is coming back on track after the chaos of the last five years, particularly the UPAII.
Kejriwal by nature and as a vital political entity is essentially a confrontationist. This confrontation in Delhi, as happened last time could derail the process of governance and no one would like that.
Yes the Aam Aadmi Party could win an absolute majority only if the alternatives available among the leaderships in the BJP and Congress are outdated and a total ZERO.
By: Amitabh Srivastava