Delhi went to polls today, it’s about time we take a look at where the BJP and the AAP actually stand before we bestow one of them with the power to loot, fool, extort…in other words govern us. While the BJP has been harping about its successive victories in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, numerous opinions polls predict that the AAP vote share will go up to 49%.This is in stark contrast to the previous surveys where the BJP had a definite lead over the AAP. The overwhelming popularity of Kejriwal amongst the voters of Delhi is one of the major reasons of this change in voting behaviour. Not taking Congress into account because this –
The BJP had released a manifesto prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections which pledged ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat- Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. It vouched to tackle inflation and corruption and all that jazz along with the promise to reconstruct the Ram Temple in Ayodhya (because Hindutva).
It’s been almost a year since the BJP came to power in the Centre and it has failed on several counts. The ‘Swachh Bharat’ Campaign has been nothing more than a gimmick, the party has failed to bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks within a month (as promised) and the PM’s silence on issues like re-conversions have forced the people to reconsider their choices.
The decision to make Kiran Bedi the chief ministerial candidate in the coming assembly elections has also not gone down well with a number of senior stalwarts of the Saffron Party as they resent the attention given to Bedi, who is a newcomer and at the same time it has provided the AAP with new weapons to fire at the BJP.
Meanwhile, the AAP has come up with a 70 – point action plan in their manifesto which promises the people affordable healthcare and education, free water and WiFi (not kidding), slashing power bills by half, women’s safety, 20 new colleges, 2lakh public toilets, 5000 new buses, 8 lakh jobs and the moon (kidding). AAP has been trying very hard to erase the traumatic memories of quitting within 49 days of coming to power from the peoples’ mind and has been inching closer to leaving the BJP behind in the polls. Their manifesto is also being applauded for taking into account the needs of the people from all classes.
While it cannot be denied that the promises made by the AAP are quite ambitious, the party however, seems to be aware of it. Unlike the 2013 polls, the party has not set a deadline for the execution of the mentioned goals. The reason seems to be quite simple – the state doesn’t have the required funding for Kejriwal’s elaborate plans. Moreover, some of the schemes would be impossible to implement without the aid of the Centre. But we shall remember this –
However, the BJP is far from getting hurt and is giving a tough competition to the Muffler Man. The virtual world has been converted into a battlefield by both the parties and hashtag grenades are being hurled with full might. Both the parties have set up social media campaigns (even Quora has not been spared) to lure voters into their respective teams. WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, text messages…you name it, they have tried it.
Amidst the heightened hysteria of the polls, we should be a little wary of all the claims made by the BJP as well as the AAP. While both the parties gear up for the elections fully loaded with their arms and artillery, we need to pay attention to a few things. It’s time to look into the credentials of the contenders and the parties concerned, go through their records (past achievements and failures) and check whether the promises made by them are in sync with the aspirations of the ‘Common Man’ before we go to the polls and press the button.
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By Shruti Das