Why Delhi Will Be BJP's Toughest Election Test

20/12/2014 7:46 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

BJP's dream-run since October 2013 has not ceased to exist. After their success in the Maharashtra and Haryana elections, they are also expected to make significant inroads in the Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir polls. Amit Shah, President, BJP has been putting in a lot of effort to help BJP get majority in both states. But Shah's eyes are set on a bigger prize, Delhi, where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) poses a formidable challenge to BJP. Irrespective of the magic created by the Shah-Modi duo in multiple elections, Delhi will be BJP's toughest test. Here's why:

1. Delaying the elections: BJP deliberately tried to delay the Delhi elections as much as possible. Had they immediately pressed for elections post the Lok Sabha results, chances of a resounding win would have been much higher given the Modi wave.

2. AAP not fighting in Haryana & Maharashtra: Post the Lok Sabha results debacle, AAP decided not to fight the Haryana and Maharashtra elections and focus all their resources and energy on the Delhi assembly elections. Comparatively, BJP workers have been working incessantly for the past few months, which might be a drawback for the BJP.

3. No projection of Chief Ministerial candidate: BJP's decision to not project a Chief Ministerial candidate might backfire as Arvind Kejriwal's persona resonates very strongly with the public. As witnessed earlier, elections are fought by major personalities and having no strong Chief Minister candidate might hurt the BJP badly.

4. AAP's 49 day performance: Corruption reduced significantly in the 49-day AAP regime in Delhi. Initiatives such as free water, reduction of electricity bills, anti-corruption helpline, etc had a significant impact, which will help them to woo the lower income class voters for the elections.

5. Centre v/s Delhi: Many people are also keen to witness the fierce battle between Delhi and the Centre, should AAP come to power. They would like to see how the equations play out.

6. Vote Split: Due to delayed elections, there might be a possible vote split between AAP and BJP, which can lead to a fractured mandate again. Should this happen, it will be a loss for Modi's invincibility factor.

7. Entrance of AIMIM: After its impressive debut in Maharashtra, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has expressed their interest to fight in Delhi, which might cause a split in Muslim votes. It won't be surprising if they manage to stage an upset or two, similar to what they did in Maharashtra.

PM Modi has directed all the 282 MPs to campaign in Delhi where each MP is expected to address three public meetings for inspiring people to vote for BJP. Interestingly, AAP has been recruiting student volunteers from various colleges in Delhi to campaign for them. For AAP, their political survival depends heavily on the Delhi results, whereas for the BJP, it's the question of Modi's invincibility factor. Who will win?

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