Friday, February 20, 2015

Threat to Modi Wave: Why it is important for Modi to win #DelhiElections?

Lok Sabha 2014 was crucial for this country. After almost two decades a single party got full majority in India. Lok Sabha 2014 was marked by the Modi wave. Many social scientists have pointed out and written extensively on, that the Modi wave was not organic, but was result of the extensive media campaign conducted by BJP and Modi. Whatever social scientists say, Modi is the Prime Minister, and Modi wave is still present in the country. Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana and more surprisingly Jammu and Kashmir elections are testimony to this.

But the trends in Delhi have shown that the Modi wave is facing a threat from AAP, though it is still difficult to believe that AAP can come back to power in Delhi. Delhi elections in December 2013 were historic. But that time AAP was fighting against Congress. There was an AAP wave. After Lok Sabha elections, the AAP wave died a natural death. Emergence of Modi as Prime Minister of India brought many to realise that organic or inorganic, there was a Modi wave in country, which continued in all the states that went for Assembly elections after Lok Sabha. But in no state there was a ‘competition’ to BJP. Delhi is the first state after Lok Sabha elections where BJP faces a tough time. Declaring Kiran Bedi as the CM candidate is a change in strategy for BJP which normally doesn’t declare its CM candidates. It did so in Delhi last time. But Maharashtra and Haryana did not see any CM candidate before elections took place.

It is important for BJP to win Delhi elections as just after Delhi polls, elections are due in Bihar. If BJP loses the battle of Delhi, the larger coalition of JDU, RJD and Congress will make use of momentum and may stand a better chance to win battle of Bihar. Amit Shah knows this. The manner in which BJP MPs from various states and many Union Ministers have come forward for campaigning for local Delhi candidates, hint to the fact that BJP has sensed the tough competition which AAP is giving. Arun Jaitley, probably the biggest political leader in India after Modi himself, has been made the in-charge of campaigning of Delhi BJP unit.

After Delhi, BJP faces election in Bihar, West Bengal and in Uttar Pradesh, among others. There is a great possibility for BJP to come in power in these states. But it faces extreme competition in these states. It relies majorly on Modi wave to do a miracle for it. If Kejriwal is able to meet the challenge of Modi wave properly, then elections in other states will become difficult for BJP. We are living in an electronic era. Perceptions are being created every moment.

There is no Bedi wave in Delhi. Various television interviews of Kiran Bedi has been rather harmful for her image. An interview with Ravish Kumar where she reveled that it was not her but retired ACP Nirmal Singh who stopped car of Indira Gandhi- in which Indira Gandhi was not sitting, and it was just a car of the PMO, took away a shining star from her shoulder. She fell from the position of a super-hero this city had imagined her to be. The interview was trending on Twitter for at least two days. Such interviews have the potential of creating political death of politicians in digital era. Though BJP came up with a good strategy to counter Kejriwal with Kiran Bedi, but now it seems to be on a back foot. If rumours are to be believed then BJP workers are not happy with parachute landing of Kiran Bedi as the Chief Ministerial candidates. All of this come as threat to the Modi wave.

Will Modi and Amit Shah be able to manage to control this threat and emerge victorious? It is too early to pass any judgement. A single day in Indian politics can turn the table around!

This article was first published on on February 1, 2015

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