Is Delhi Turning Away from the BJP?
NEW DELHI: 2014 Lok Sabha elections headlines: BJP Sweeps Delhi, Wins all 7 Lok Sabha Seats.
2015 Delhi Assembly elections headlines: AAP Sweeps Delhi, Forms th Government
2016: Delhi MCD Bypolls headlines: AAP Wins 5 Seats, Congress 4, BJP Reduced from 13 to 3
Clearly, Delhi’s honeymoon with the BJP has not lasted and the capital---despite being host to Jawaharlal Nehru University and at the centre of the ‘national’ vs ‘anti national’ debate---is moving away towards the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress. More so as if these bypoll results in a keenly fought contest can be projected on to the MCD elections due next year, and more so as all 13 of the seats where bypolls were held were with the BJP till now.
The ordinary voter in Delhi lives in a city of headlines and grandstanding with protests, Parliament and the media part of the permanent landscape. Underneath the glitz is the increasing concern of the voter with price rise, absence of amenities, power cuts, shortage of drinking water, poor sewage along with a host of issues that he/she clearly places the blame for at the BJPs door. The shift in vote from the BJP to the Opposition in the MCD shows a shift in faith with the promises of the high voltage Lok Sabha campaign fading into the reality of municipal apathy.
Delhi is a city of traders and bureaucrats. A middle class that is automatically drawn to the establishment, best embodied in the BJP and at one time he Congress. The traders remain largely loyal even today to the BJP, but the same cannot be said of senior bureaucrats who have lost power, along with many of their ministers, to the Prime Ministers Office. To the point that instead of clamouring for a Delhi posting, they are rejecting this, with a keenness never seen before to stay on in their home states. Many of them who are posted in Delhi are keen to revert to their respective states and as one of them told The Citizen, “well at this stage let me say it is better to be safe than sorry.”
The larger than life issues of nationalism vs anti nationalism as symbolised by Jawaharlal Nehru University based in Delhi, have clearly failed to cut into the rozi roti needs of the common citizen. The debate stoked through the HRD Ministry in a direct confrontation with JNU was clearly not sufficient to eclipse and replace Delhi’s needs for water and sewage with Bharat Mata ki Jai not converting into a MCD slogan of any resonance.
The feud between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party seems to be going in favour of the latter. In that the AAP insistence that it was not being allowed to work by the BJP and a proactive Lt Governor Najeeb Jung seems to have convinced the people at least in this round of bypolls, with an effort being made by the electorate to give the Delhi government the MCD teeth it requires to be effective. The BJP has not been able to convince the people, despite its stridency that is showcased through the Delhi propaganda machinery more often than not, that it can deliver to make lives more affordable and livable.