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Delhi elections: Experts discuss if BJP's honeymoon will continue or end?


The Delhi elections appears to be a hard fought battle and going by the events with a major mud slinging campaign on, it seems that it would be a fight to the finish.

The Delhi elections will also be a pre-cursor to the Bihar elections slated for 2016 and would also determine whether the BJP's honeymoon continues or ends. [Delhi Election 2015: Complete Coverage]

Modi and Rajnath Singh

Let us leave all the allegations and counter allegations aside and see what the Delhi voter wants and what he can also expect.

It is clear that the Delhi voter wants stability more than anything else. In this write up, we speak to the experts and also a few Delhi voters who give us what to expect in the Delhi elections.

Have the events changed?

Dr Sandeep Shastri, a leading psephologist who is an expert at number crunching tells Oneindia in this interview that "a month ago, it was a clear advantage for the BJP. Having swept the Lok Sabha elections and with the Congress on the retreat it appeared as though the Delhi polls would have been a cake walk for the BJP."

"However, after the elections to Delhi were declared, there were a series of events which changed the picture. We do not know who the incumbent in Delhi is," he added.

He also said, "All the three parties -- AAP, BJP and the Congress can be the incumbents here. In the campaign during the recent assembly elections, the strong point for the BJP was attacking the incumbent."

Kiran Bedi as the BJP's CM candidate:

"In Delhi the other issue for the BJP is that there is a strong non-BJP Chief Ministerial candidate. This is what forced them to declare Kiran Bedi as a CM candidate. Has this move paid off?"

"Some would say declaring Kiran Bedi as the CM candidate has boomeranged. There are two reasons- one it has forced internal contradictions in the party."

"This is because many within the party feel bad that a person was chosen to be the CM candidate barely 72 hours after she joined the party."

"The BJP, appears to have tried to disarm the AAP with a leader who is very much like the AAP. In a way the BJP was looking to steal the special clothes of the Aam Admi Party. Whether this will work or not in the long run, time would tell."

"The BJP in declaring Kiran Bedi appeared to have underestimated the internal contradictions. Kiran Bedi's drawbacks are that she has made some inexperienced comments."

"Moreover, a cop never changes colours even after retirement. However the biggest factor is that in declaring Bedi they have deflected the attention of Narendra Modi."

Has Arvind Kejriwal been forgiven for quitting?

"When the AAP quit the government, everyone thought he was running away. However he managed to pull it off during the campaign by apologizing. There is always public sympathy for people who have made a mistake and come out and openly apologized for it."

"At first there were many in Delhi who felt that he should not be given a chance as he had quit. His public meetings in which he openly apologized has changed a lot for him. A large number of people have forgiven him for that."

Public opinion

Sujatha Sharma, home maker -- "For me stability is important. We do not want to see a repeat of what happened last time."

Rakesh Singh, businessman -- "While water and electricity are key issues, I would prefer a stable government. I did not like the way the AAP quit the government. That was not right, we gave them the vote to rule."

Pratham Chawla, teacher -- "Good governance is important and for that we need stability. We do not want Delhi to be ruled by the Centre. There are always limitations. I prefer a party that has power at the centre to rule Delhi."

The final verdict:

Sandeep Shasttri points out that, "it is a very close race. Many would have thought that the BJP would emerge as the winner with ease."

"According to my estimate either party could end up with 36 to 37 votes. In my view if any party touches the 40 mark it could be considered as a landslide victory."

"A lot has changed after the elections were announced. I had earlier said that it would be a comfortable win for the BJP. But now it would be a fight to the finish."

"However, there is one thing I could say confidently and that is it will not be a hung assembly. The Delhi voter has already made up his mind."

"The BJP still has a lot of strong points. The middle class voter has moved away from the AAP. The BJP has a strong committed voter base in Delhi."

"Most importantly this verdict decides whether the BJP's honeymoon period is still on or over. In the Bihar elections to held the stakes are very high and if the BJP loses Delhi then the political noise will be extremely loud."

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