From “romantic anarchist” to “ghar ka bada beta”, the metamorphosis of Kejriwal’s image earns him a third term, heads to the BJP, Congress makes a blank

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Following a vitriolic and highly polarized electoral battle, the Aam Aadmi party (PAA) repeated on Tuesday a historic victory in Delhi pocketing 62 seats in the 70-member assembly, down five seats from its previous tally. The BJP opposition, which was confident in a victory, managed to increase its total from three to eight seats and registered a marginal increase in its share of the vote from 32.1% in 2015 to 38.51% this time.

The Congress party, which had held power three times in a row from 1998 to 2013, went blank for the second time in a row. In the absence of a strong leader to lead the party’s campaign and state unity, the overall vote share of Congress fell from 9.8% in 2015 to 4.26% on Tuesday. The AAP which won 54.31% of the vote the last time saw a slight decrease with 53.57% taking into account the loss of three seats compared to its previous count.

After losing all elections except an indirect ballot in Delhi over the past four years, the AAP has made a comeback that most party leaders would attribute to a conscious shift in its strategy since mid-year. 2019. Sources said that when Kejriwal informally contacted poll strategist Prashant Kishore last June-July, the duo took a close look at where the party went wrong. “We had to go back to basics. Calling Narendra Modi a psychopath didn’t really work for the party, not because people like Modi, but because the Delhi voter did not elect Kejriwal to play the role of the main opposition. He was elected to the post of CM of Delhi. So he went back to doing what he was in his field, ”said a senior party official.

At the same time, Kejriwal made conscious efforts to change his image from a “romantic anarchist” and “angry scholarly leader” to an “affable leader, the bada beta or bhai of the family”. Posters and advertising campaigns have shifted around this branding image and Kejriwal appealed to the public, whether it is not to celebrate Diwali with crackers or for women to take a stand for their safety, calling themselves the eldest son of the family. Also on Tuesday, Kejriwal wooed a swarming crowd of activists and party supporters at the AAP headquarters and thanked Delhi for the victory, adding, “Dilliwalon, I love you.” Flanked by the main party leaders and his wife Sunita, Kejriwal remained informal: “Today is my wife’s birthday. I already had my cake… ab aapko khilaunga ”The cake he referred to was read by all as good governance over the next five years.

During the poll in Delhi, he refrained from talking about Ram Mandir, the Citizenship Amendment Act and Shaheen Bagh, refusing to engage with the BJP on issues that went beyond his “job description”.

Key faces / government priorities

During Kejriwal’s third term as chief minister, he is expected to broaden his scope and go beyond education and health. Senior party leaders said
Mirror this infrastructure will be a top priority and in its assessment during the elections, the party had learned of grievances against poor transport and infrastructure. During her second term, the AAP had blocked phase 4 of the Delhi metro because of a standoff with the Center on free metro rides for women. The Delhi government has phased out several buses and has failed to bring in new ones to fill the void. Women’s safety, an issue for which the AAP blamed the Center while Delhi Police reports to the Home Office, will also be a priority during this term.

Former Congress chief Ajoy Kumar, who joined the AAP late last year, a former IPS officer known for his valor as police superintendent of Bihar and Jharkhand, is expected to play a greater role in the management of women’s safety. Party insiders told him it would draw up a detailed plan in which the Delhi government finds ways to resolve the issue without relying too much on the Delhi police.

Prominent AAP faces like Raghav Chadha and Atishi Marlena are about to be inducted into the cabinet and could hold key portfolios like finance, education and welfare. In the previous government, Atishi worked closely with Education Minister Manish Sisodia to overhaul the government’s education system until she had to give up due to the Center’s objections to the appointment of several ministerial advisers. . Chadha was the treasurer of the AAP and, according to an insider, “he could be the one who reads the next budget” of the AAP government.

Jasmine Shah, who headed the Delhi Dialogue Commission, a government think tank and oversaw the chief minister’s office in recent months, may also be called upon to play a much larger role.

BJP rolling heads

According to the BJP’s internal assessment following a seat-by-seat analysis, they were expected to gain 48 seats. BJP state unit head Manoj Tiwari, who was aiming for the chief ministerial post, had reported to his party leaders the analysis on the basis of which Shah claimed his party would win 42 seats. Party insiders said
Mirror that the rout is not only disheartening for the party cadres, but a greater loss of face for the party leadership for presenting a grossly inaccurate assessment. Heads will likely fall as Tiwari, who had a free ride with election official Prakash Javadekar, will have to take the fall.

Tiwari, who had rejected all exit and opinion polls that gave the AAP a clear lead, tweeted on Saturday that pollsters would be wrong and EVMs would be blamed for the loss of the AAP. On Tuesday morning, he shone through the first counting hours by asking party workers to remain confident in victory. Later that evening, as he conceded defeat, he was asked about his ‘save tweet’ message. To that, he replied: “As head of state unit, I can hardly say that we are losing, can we? We had our own internal survey. I had done a state-based assessment of 48 ridings. I was wrong to think that they would vote for change. You saved my tweet, you keep it… “Tiwari said the party will analyze the loss and gave the AAP advice,” We hope that in the future there will be less blame and more work. ”

The BJP had deployed nearly 200 senior MPs and party officials, including Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, central ministers such as Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur, who went door to door, addressed to 10,000 nukkad sabhas (corner meetings) and rallies and shot every night in the houses of the inhabitants to “spend time among the people”. While BJP leader JP Nadda had taken the reigns of the party just weeks before the election, the campaign was led behind the scenes by Shah, who is referred to as a modern Chanakya for his polling strategies. In an effort to overcome factionalism, the party did not nominate a CM candidate. Delhi MPs ParveshVerma and Thakur have banned the election commission from campaigning for a limited period after making objectionable and inflammatory speeches.

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