New Delhi : The turnout possibly holds the key to the Delhi assembly election: it was just a trickle in the morning but is expected to catch up during the day as the city warms up. A good turnout augurs well for the AAP and a meagre turnout for the cadre-based BJP.
In 2013, the turnout was 65.6%. and the voting hours had to be extended to accommodate the eleventh hour surge at the polling booths. It, of course, remains to be seen whether Delhi will surpass itself in 2015.
Whatever the outcome at the end of the day, there is no denying that Arvind Kejriwal has galvanised the entire city in an election that is going to the wires. The electorate has surely forgiven him for turning his back on the city after his half-baked 49-day sojourn in the chief minister’s office. It has been a dramatic turnaround for a person who was being seen as a political flash in the pan.
Most important, Kejriwal has turned this election on its head by seeking a vote against a political class that thrives on big money and corporate patronage. This has struck a chord with a people who are utterly disillusioned with the archetypical ‘neta.’ Interestingly, despite his ‘Amol Palekar’ appeal to the electorate, Kejriwal is also being perceived as an astute politician who can send both mainstream parties scurrying for cover. His instant rebuff to the Shahi Imam is a case in point.
The BJP journey in this election has been a litany of mis-steps starting with the decision to foist a rank outsider, Kiran Bedi, on the party rank and file. The bungling continued even after canvassing had concluded and culminated in BJP poll strategist Arun Jaitley soliciting for votes on national TV and raising the spectre of ‘anarchy versus development.’
The Congress has wisely taken a backseat in an election in which it does not want to play the spoiler and wean away AAP votes. It expects the tactical retreat to have an impact on the national mood vis a vis Modi, if not the poll dynamics.