Delhi polls: Why getting clear mandate will be onerous task for Arvind Kejriwal

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As the Election Commission's announcement over Delhi Assembly poll dates are nearing, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal is leaving no stone unturned to gain an edge against rival BJP.

From their virtual election campaign of 'Mufflerman' to radio jingles, AAP is making its presence felt amongst common man. The party, as compared to rivals BJP and Congress, is campaigning heavily in the national capital to reach out to the people. This will certainly help the party which suffered massive criticism for resigning from the government.

Why getting clear mandate will be onerous task for Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal attacks BJP's poster boy Narendra Modi

Just a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first rally in the national capital, AAP convener Kejriwal has launched a fresh salvo at Modi. Kejriwal took to Twitter and attacked Modi, who is the BJP's poster boy, for making false promises to the people of Delhi and making U-turns.

Questioning PM Modi Kejriwal said, "PM Modi had promised complete statehood to Delhi but will he announce it? Or will the BJP do a U-turn on this issue also?"

On the issue of power tariff Kejriwal tweeted, "Before polls, BJP announced 30% reduction in electricity rates. Delhi eagerly hoping that PM would announce that tomorrow."

Tweets from AAP convener kicked off a massive debate on Twitter in which people are asking PM Modi to make electricity cheaper, safety of women, proper civil amenities and colleges. This has made "#DelhiAsksPMModi" second trend in India.

This shows that people, especially youth, are still taking Kejriwal seriously. Also, every pre-poll survey conducted in the national capital has predicted Kejriwal as the first choice for Delhi's CM. Though the surveys are predicting a clear majority for the BJP in Delhi, all thanks to the Narendra Modi effect.

Trouble for BJP as AAP gaining ground in Delhi

There is a trouble in the offing for the BJP in Delhi since its AAP is slowly gaining its ground in the national capital. The prime reason for AAP's increasing popularity is the party's early campaigning strategy. The party entered into the poll mode soon after the dissolution of Delhi Assembly. This strategy has helped the party gain an edge over its rivals BJP and Congress.

Partial credit for AAP's resurrection in the national capital goes to the BJP as well. Insensitive statements from Union Minister Sakshi Maharaj, communal clashes in Trilokpuri, Uber rape incident, love jihad and conversion issues from the Hindu hardliners have all hurt the party's credibility. All this only benefitted AAP.

Another reason for AAP's popularity is the declaration of the CM candidate. Contrary to BJP and Congress, AAP has already declared Kejriwal's name for the CM's post. This is the reason why Kejriwal still emerges as Delhi's first choice for CM.

Will Congress' hint at backing AAP hurt the BJP?

Just a day ago, former Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit said the Congress was ready to again support an AAP government in the event of a hung assembly in the capital.

Soon after Dikshit's statement, Kejriwal rubbished her statement and asked the people of Delhi that Congress has already conceded its defeat and that the people of Delhi should vote for AAP instead of wasting their important votes. Delhi's Congress unit may be distancing itself from Dikshit's statements but it may help the AAP as Congress' supporters may opt going with Kejriwal's party.

This may dampen the BJP's prospects in the national capital as AAP may attract most of Congress' votes in AAP's favour.

No dearth of challenges for AAP either

Despite these positives the road ahead is not easy for the Aam Aadmi Party. There is still a section of the voters which feels Kejriwal should not have resigned from the government last year and hence are not ready to vote for his party. Then there are those who are still under PM Modi's charm.

Then there are those who have immense faith in the BJP's policy of development. This could be understood by the fact that the BJP had swept all the 7 Parliamentary seats during the Lok Sabha polls in Delhi.

The BJP has gained immense popularity after Union Cabinet recently approved an Ordinance to regularise 895 unauthorised colonies. The experts think it will benefit the BJP win 25 to 27 Assembly seats in Delhi.

Also, announcement of compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the victims of anti-Sikh pogrom will help the party in the upcoming assembly elections in the state. 2,733 Sikhs were killed in Delhi alone during the riots triggered after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Apart from these, the BJP's presence at the Centre and its successive victories in the states of Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand would propel the voters in Delhi to go for the party at power in Centre as it would ensure greater accountability and smooth flow of funds for the state.

Hence, despite enjoying immense popularity Kejriwal faces a monumental task in front of him to drag his party to a historic victory from a state where his party failed to open its account in the Lok Sabha polls.

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