Less than a fortnight is left for the big day (Feb 7) when all the political parties will face one of the toughest fight in their political history. The major stakeholders in Delhi elections, BJP and Aam Aadmi Party are toying with all permutations and combinations to outshine others, though both are equally nervous for their winning prospect.
It is proven now that BJP which was brimming with confidence after recent electoral victories-first in Lok Sabha and then subsequently in State elections is in awe of Kejriwal led AAP. This is the reason why the saffron party sprung quite a number of surprises in last week. First BJP convinced Kiran Bedi to join the party and within five days she was declared BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate.
Feeling threatened with AAP's gaining momentum, Modi-led party then poached some of Kejriwal's old comrades including Shazia Ilmi and Vinod Binny. BJP not only rolled the red carpet for disgruntled AAP leaders, but surprisingly party adopted benign approach to bete noire Congress party leader Krishna Tirath.
BJP is now putting all hopes on former top cop Kiran Bedi who has been declared party CM candidate. But experts are having mixed views whether she will be able to pull off this tough game for the BJP.
First woman IPS officer is known as an honest officer having clean bureaucratic records, but on political pitch she is like a feeble foot soldier as she may not have the ability to tackle political salvo fired from the Opposition camp. For example, when she was invited for an open debate by Arvind Kejriwal, Bedi dodged the challenge.
Throwing the challenge to Bedi, Kejriwal said such a debate will be a "good initiative" as people will know about plans and policies of the two main parties of the city which will help them in understanding various issues. In reply to Kejriwal's salvo, Bedi said she "accepts" the challenge but will only debate with him on the floor of Delhi Assembly and not during the campaign.
Taking a swipe at Kejriwal, daring cop further said that she was focusing on delivery rather than debates because that's what Kejriwal has been doing.
Political experts say that this could have been handled more meticulously at least when Bedi was speaking on the camera. When BJP eyes to make inroads into poor, auto rickshaw type vote banks which have been loyal to AAP, the saffron party must handle all such issues diplomatically and more cautiously.
Infighting within BJP is not a good sign
Another factor which may cost dearly to the party is that Bedi was declared CM candidate without taking Delhi BJP leaders into confidence. It is being said that top leadership (Modi, Shah and Jaitley) gave the green signal without having pep talk with the State leaders. It is a fact that before Bedi, BJP leadership in the capital was lusterless and rudderless, in spite of that master strategists must have had a chat with the State leaders including Satish Upadhyay and Harsh Vardhan.
Had they (top leadership) worked on their strategy properly, such vengeance would not have percolated to the party workers. Such infighting could have easily been avoided.
Past record of her being anti-BJP
Bedi had been warming up to the BJP from quite a long time now. Through her occasional reactions and tweets supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his initiatives, it looked like she may join BJP in near future. Finally, she joined the saffron party when she found an opportune moment for giving fillip to her political activism.
But Bedi's past, anti-BJP stand will keep haunting her in the coming days. Opposition may attack the former top cop for her hate-cum-love affair with BJP. Because of the same reason, Kiran Bedi's confidence will always lie on the shaky grounds whenever she will face the voters.
Opinion poll shows Delhiites still prefer AAP
A pre poll survey by ABP News-Nielsen recently brought to light "how the city feels with the recent induction of Kiran Bedi into BJP." As soon as Bedi was inducted in the party, it was being said that she is the right candiadte who will give AAP's chief Arvind Kejriwal a proper fight.
When people were asked will Kiran Bedi joining the BJP imapct your voting decision, "Majority of the respondents (61.6%) claimed that even if Kiran Bedi is announced as BJP's CM candidate it will not impact their voting decision while 38.4% said it will impact their decision." The survey which was conducted between 17th January to 19th January, 2015 amongst 1489 respondents also revealed that, "AAP seems to be getting higher support from Women respondents' regardless of Kiran Bedi joining BJP."