The 2020 Delhi state elections has everyone’s eyes on it after the turmoil in the state after the CAA and NRC decisions made by BJP government, AAP has become one of the newer as well as major opposition party against BJP government after the decline of Congress party.
Elections to Delhi’s legislative assembly are just around the corner with voting scheduled to take place on February 8th. The results will be announced on February 11th. The highly charged elections are a three-way contest between the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). The assembly has 70 seats in total.
BJP : Divider in chief
“These elections are going to be an election of the country”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally, days before Delhi votes on February 8.
Judging by the campaigners fielded by his party, it’s obvious that this election is of great importance to the BJP. On February 4, when Modi reached the grounds of a DDA park in Dwarka, his words were telling: “Friends, Delhi elections are the first elections of the year”, he said to a crowd chanting “Modiji ko Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram”.
Modi continued, “These elections are going to be an election of the country…and the country’s progress will depend on today’s decision that you make…The capital will decide the roadmap for the next decade.”
There has been growing concern towards Delhi elections after the extensive protests as it was the epicenter of the same. There have been a few violent attacks on peaceful protestors by armed goons. The police force has been dubbed as puppets out to stifle dissent, making the atmosphere even tenser.
One of the foremost purveyors of this discourse, MP Parvesh Singh Verma of the BJP, was banned by the Election Commission for 96 hours for saying that protestors of Shaheen Bagh will go into people’s homes and rape their daughters and mothers. While he was back on the stage after his prohibition ended — he was banned again from campaigning a few days later after he called Kejriwal a “terrorist”.
Raking up national issues like terrorism and Pakistan during the election campaign of a union territory (or a state like Maharashtra) has become a tried and tested method for BJP, even though it has not given them spectacular results. During the general elections, most BJP supporters said they feel the country is in danger and a leader like Modi is the armor the nation needs.
But BJP has a tough fight cut out for it. While national issues are always hot topics of discussion among voters, what also concerns the people of Delhi is its law and order, safety, healthcare, schools, water, electricity, jobs, and infrastructure. And the biggest competition here is the AAP, which is fighting to retain the 67 seats it won in 2015.
Up and coming AAP
AAP’s campaign has mostly been based on self-promotion and countering the Opposition’s claims, especially the allegation that AAP failed to keep its promises, and that the CM does not do his job. Twitter especially has been the fulcrum of mudslinging, but Modi in his campaign speech also made such remarks.
AAP released its report card in December last year, telling voters about its achievements in education, like constructing 20,000 classrooms; in health, with the opening of 400 Mohalla Clinics; on providing free 20,000-litre water, electricity subsidy, CCTV cameras and more.
After this, a 10-point personal guarantee card was released in early January. This includes free public transport for women and students, basic facilities for unauthorized colonies, good education for students until graduation, affordable and quality healthcare, better security for women, 24-hour electricity supply and a garbage-free Capital.
One issue that has received much attention is th
e healthcare system in Delhi, with a defiant Kejriwal not allowing the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The AAP government maintains that with free healthcare in its government hospitals, it does not need the Centre’s scheme.
AAP, which has been kindly judged for its education reforms, in its manifesto promises to provide a “world-class education facility” for every child. Besides that, it promises to provide a public transportation system with over 11,000 buses, and extending its free bus rides for women to include students as well.
Delhi elections would have been game-changing as AAP has forced BJP and Congress to fight elections not the basis of religion, but Education, Health Care, Electricity, etc. Exit votes suggest AAP would come back into power, we shall wait for the results on 11th February 2020.