New Delhi Prime minister Narendra Modi has come down heavily on pre-poll surveys that have depicted that the Aam Aadmi Party is ahead of the BJP in the elections for the Delhi state assembly. Addressing the last of his four public meetings, Modi described these surveys as’ lies’ and predicted that his party would get an absolute majority. “Do not listen to lies… The BJP will get full majority,” he said at a meeting in South Delhi.
“When I was fighting the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi, the surveys predicted that I would lose badly,” said Modi, adding that the polls were proved wrong when he won that seat. The prime minister wondered from where these poll surveys collected their data because they had been wrong many times in the past.
A confident Modi also asserted that the BJP was definitely coming to power in Delhi. “When Delhi poll results come out on 10 February, we will start the abhiyan for Delhi’s development… after all, we need to correct the wrongs of the last 16 years in Delhi,” he added.
However, Modi’s senior cabinet colleague and former party president M Venkaiah Naidu seems to be preparing also for an eventual loss for the party in these polls. “It is the election for the Chief Minister and not for the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi is not fighting assembly elections. It is a state election. You are going to elect a Chief Minister not a Prime Minister. It is the BJP versus the rest. That is all,” said Naidu while asserting that the results of the Delhi elections could not been seen as a referendum on the Modi government’s performance over the last eight months.
The campaign for the Delhi state assembly began as a cakewalk for the BJP that had captured all the 7 Lok Sabha seats from the national capital last summer. The main rival-the AAP was seen as a loser considering that its leader Arvind Kejriwal was dubbed as a ‘deserter’ having quit the chief minister’s post after 49 days. The Congress that was relegated to the third position was not even in the reckoning.
But the Modi versus Kejriwal contest has gathered momentum in the last few weeks and there have been signs of desperation in the attacks that have been mounted by the BJP against the AAP. There have been a series of print advertisements reflecting this sense of desperation. Modi has personally led the charge against Kejriwal on the issue of funding for the AAO. In a reference to the dubious character of the AAP donors, he said:” Someone called me and asked me the other day, have you also donated money? When I inquired, I came to know that even Mahatma Gandhi has made a donation, also Obama,” while adding:: “People who claimed to be honest, have been proved otherwise.”
On his part, Kejriwal has dared the government to arrest him if there is any proof of wrong doing in so far as the fund raising by the AP is concerned.