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Delhi Chalo...

After its impressive performance in the assembly elections at Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and J&K, the BJP is focusing its efforts in the capital. Elections to the 70-seat assembly of Delhi state has been scheduled for 07 February. It’s a do or die battle for Arvind Kejriwal who captured power in a very short time of entering politics. He belied the great expectations he raised by resigning after 49 days of assuming charge as chief minister. His Aam Aadmi Party received a severe drubbing in the elections to the Lok Sabha and several of the leaders he assembled moved out disillusioned with his style of functioning.

BJP captured all the seats of Delhi in the Lok Sabha elections. It is keen for a repeat performance that would help assume charge of the Delhi government. The Modi-Amit Shah team has roped in Kiran Bedi who worked with Arvind Kejriwal in Anna Hazare’s Lok Pal agitation. Kiran Bedi has strong similarities with Kejriwal: experience as a popular civil servant, street smart articulation and keen involvement in public affairs. What appeared a weak match for Kejriwal seems to have been set right by Kiran Bedi joining the BJP and contesting in Delhi. Another close ex-associate of the AAP leader, Shazia Ilmi, has also joined BJP considerably strengthening the party’s public face and increasing prospect for winning minority votes. The Modi-Shah magic appears considerably fortified by these enrolments. Capturing Delhi will be of special value to the  BJP.

The 15 years of rule under Sheila Dixit saw Delhi undergoing spectacular transformation. Traditionally Delhi has been provided a large share of Central funds for infrastructure development. Today, Delhi has a modern airport, a road system with the largest number of bridges, subways, widest lanes and a swanky metro rail that has very considerably eased movement. The articulate and sophisticated Sheila Dixit a familiar face of Delhi, unfortunately was pulled down by a series of corruption scandals of UPA II. Despite the anti-incumbency disadvantage, Dixit’s contribution to Delhi’s development cannot be easily forgotten.

 

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