By Vini Bhati
The other day while coming back from college in the metro, I witnessed a spectacular fervour of Indian politics sweep within the metro coach. It was a casual ride; it saw people engaged in mundane activities in order to avoid the tires of travelling. A light conversation which involved the exciting battle of upcoming Delhi elections amongst my friends, turned into a vehement debate in which people from all walks of life actively participated. A metro coach filled with strangers suddenly turned into a 9 pm prime time show which saw representatives of different political parties building their cases and refuting the well crafted arguments of their opponents. The best choice for the nation could not be figured out in that brief metro ride due to my Rajiv Chowk exit but it did set me thinking about the rising level of interest and awareness which is present in the “thinking” and “argumentative” aam aadmi.
The political mood of Delhi is intense as it is set to complete its unfinished story. As Delhi is ready to begin its much awaited elections again, the city air is filled with suspense as to who will emerge victorious amidst the intense competition? Will it be the local hero, Arvind Kejriwal, who grabbed the major chunk of electorate with the magic of his sharp rhetoric and door to door campaign or the enigmatic Kiran Bedi, whose induction into the battlefield by BJP is seen as a “master stroke” by experts or the humble Ajay Maken from Congress who may capitalise upon the glorious legacy of the oldest political party of India?
In the last elections which were held in 2014, 33.1% was won by BJP, 29.5% was secured by AAP and Congress had to be contended with a meagre 24.6% seats. Since no single party could establish a clear majority, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najib Jung invited AAP to form the government in Delhi. Thus, AAP formed a minority government with the outside support of Congress. The performance of this makeshift arrangement was severely criticised as it could not sustain itself in the long run and ended with the resignation of its captain, Arvind Kejriwal, after 49 days, who gave various reasons for the same, the pertinent one being his inability to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. Since then Delhi is functioning under Presidential rule, waiting eagerly for its next assembly elections.
With time, a lot has changed in the political landscape of Delhi. Congress appears to be in its most passive mode by promoting its “development for all agenda” with Ajay Maken leading the poll campaign. Arvind Kejriwal, in a very filmy style, is reasoning out his resignation to his loyal supporters through poignant vocal messages on radio, ensuring a promising show if brought back with absolute majority. However BJP has played its master card by substituting Dr Harsh Vardhan, their former CM candidate with Kiran Bedi, who initially seemed to be aligning herself with AAP. This sudden reconfiguration in the Indian Polity has stunned everyone and made this fight even more fierce and intense.
Thus, the stage is set for the big show. It is eagerly waiting for its last act to unfold. It is time for the most prominent actors of democracy to come out and exercise their democratic right on 7th February 2015 which will eventually carve the destiny Indian polity.
So, voters! Are you ready to play your part?
Vini Bhati is a 2nd year English literature student at Hans Raj College, Delhi University. A passionate theatre artist and debater, she ardently believes in the power of self composed thoughts on paper as it gives her a sense of distinctiveness amidst the crowd and empowers her to think, believe and grow. Her interests range from public speaking, voracious reading and listening to vibrant music .She can be reached at [email protected]
Edited by Namrata Caleb, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist