Bawana bypoll: In 2015 Arvind Kejriwal became the chief minister of Delhi with a sensational victory in the assembly election. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which held the baton for alternative politics in India won 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi handing a major setback to BJP and Congress. A little over two years later and AAP is battling in Bawana to keep the seat which was left vacant in March this year when AAP MLA Ved Prakash quit the party to join the BJP. Even though the Aam Aadmi Party went into this election full of confidence, a loss here can virtually end Arvind Kejriwal’s political career which failed to blossom after promising so much.
Many things have changed within the Aam Aadmi Party in last three years. Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were shown the exit door, Kumar Vishwas sparked a new war with his interview and Kapil Mishra who was one of the founding members of the party, went rogue. All this drama certainly didn’t help party’s cause in various elections.
The Aam Aadmi Party lost in Punjab and Goa earlier this year before failing to hold on to its seat in Delhi bypoll in Rajouri. The Delhi CM’s strategy of continuously hitting out at the other leaders didn’t help his case either. This forced him to reconsider his strategy and in last few months, people of Bawana witnessed multiple visits from Arvind Kejriwal. “I promise you this, we will start constructing this road in a month. Within two months, you will have a paved road ready,” he was heard telling locals.
Unlike the old days, the Delhi CM took a calculative approach while criticising his opponents. “In the last 15 years, the Sheila Dikshit government did nothing for farmers. The BJP may raise slogans of nationalism but they don’t actually do anything. If a soldier from Delhi is martyred, the state government gives compensation of Rs 1 crore to his family. The Centre does not do this; neither do the other BJP-ruled states. When farmers’ crops were destroyed, we gave compensation within four months,” he said at one of the rallies as per CNN-News 18.
Indian politics is standing at a very crucial stage right now. There has been a paradigm shift in last three since Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister. Many major political parties including the Congress are facing existential crisis and the reason for that is lack of leaders.
With 2019 Lok Sabha elections just two years away who can challenge Narendra Modi’s supremacy is the big question? Mulayam Singh and Mayawati are now veterans, Rahul Gandhi has failed to become a leader within his party leave alone the nation, Nitish Kumar who was the biggest challenger is now by Modi’s side, Lalu Yadav is busy clearing his own mess and Akhilesh Yadav’s rise was halted by his family feud.
This leaves us with just one option: Arvind Kejriwal. A win at Bawana bypoll might help Kejriwal’s reemergence and bring him back into the limelight as a top contender again.