These eight months proved out to be long enough for anti-incumbency against the BJP led
central government, that was seen ruling Delhi through Lieutenant-Governor, to
build to the extent that it led to a complete rout for the party's prospects in
the 2015 assembly polls.
In the 70-member Delhi assembly, BJP, the largest party of the 2013
assembly polls that bettered its show in 2014 Lok Sabha polls winning all seven
seats and improving its vote share by 15% to 48% and leading in 60 of the 70
assembly segments, was reduced to just three seats.
And the Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal advantage played a major role
AAP had begun its ground work a long before the L-G gave nod to the
polls. Kejriwal's sincere act of apology was finding its takers through his
He was the most popular CM Candidate in Delhi even when BJP was clearly
ahead of AAP in seat projections, survey after survey. And as the polls
approached, increased intensity of his efforts took him far higher on
It was further helped by absence of any credible name against him as
the CM nominee. Congress had none. BJP had none before January 12. After BJP
paradropped her, Kiran Bedi did reach near to him with her announcement but
soon Kejriwal widened the gap.
It all made Kejriwal the central target of political rivals. The mighty BJP was
there, lock, stock and barrel, encircling him, trying to engulf him. Kejriwal
was also in the fire-line of the down and out Congress.
Something that was the case with Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls when he was the
central target of the political rivals.
It did help Modi then, making him a true mass phenomenon.
It helped Kejriwal now, in the assembly polls, making him the Delhi's
mass leader beyond the perception of popularity scales.
In the Lok Sabha polls, everyone
was targeting Modi when he had no direct rival. And Modi had the most intensive
campaigning schedule mapping length and breadth of the country. Every
development helped him get added scales of visibility - the media time,
visibility on airwaves, presence in print media, in top slots trending on
Internet and social media. And as the it was coming from a fractured group of
rivals including Congress that was sweating from the heat of a sky-high
anti-incumbency, their words and acts only helped Modi positively.
In these assembly polls, in
desperation, fuelled by the 'below expectation crowds' in Modi's first rally, and
Kiran Bedi's rapidly diminishing impact, BJP started ratcheting up attacks on
Kejriwal. BJP failed to realize the harm
its negative campaign was doing and kept on doing the same thing with Arvind
Kejriwal that opponents did with Modi then, targeting him with the might of
BJP's campaigning machinery that looked to sweep Delhi.
BJP failed to realize that it
needed to keep this most important factor in check - the psychology, the
inclination of youth, middle classes and poor-
to support the one whom they can identify with - and Kejriwal has been
certainly identifiable for them - to be in solidarity with the one who is
taking on the mightier ones - and AAP is no match for BJP and Congress in terms
of resources and experience.
Yes, BJP and Narendra Modi were
not poor in resources or experience in the Lok Sabha polls, but Modi's
political past and the allegations of Gujarat riots made him the easy target of
every other political outfit that he exploited well with his humble background.
The tea-seller on the course to change the future of India and its people -
being hounded by the political opponents - because of his poor background and
because of his backward caste lineage -
was a big crowd puller - and a big psychological connect for the