Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kejriwal and his political instincts

People are dispensing political advice to Arvind Kejriwal. But by the looks of it, he doesn't need any. Till now he's been ahead of the political game. He rode the Anna's anti-corruption movement that was also supported by BJP for its anti-congress tone. He then announced a political party at an opportune time - when almost everyone (except BJP) was suggesting that instead of the disruptive anarchy they should come up with a constructive program and form a political party - almost as if accepting a challenge. Less than a year later, AAP emerged as the second largest party in Delhi.

And even now he has played his hands well. AAP showed initial reluctance to form the government with Congress support, forcing BJP and Congress to criticize it for shirking the responsibility. And now when they're forming the government, BJP looks self-contradictory in criticizing it for taking Congress' support. Congress may be trying to expose AAP as a party that can not govern by making its working difficult, but of all the 3 parties, AAP is on surer ground. If at some point Congress brings down the government, APP can quite happily play the victim card. In fact, they are already making appropriate noise regarding this. And in such an eventuality, AAP can only gain - it will retain its present voters and will gain the fence sitters who were earlier unsure of voting for a new party. The only danger for AAP now is to be seen as backing away from its poll promises - which they should be able avoid. So, Congress is in tough position - if they support AAP, it gains credibility; if they don't it will play victim.

The political idiom that AAP is using may be unconventional, but there's absolutely nothing to suggest that Kejriwal lacks political instincts. BJP, hoping to ride anti-Congress sentiment in urban areas, is therefore also suitably worried.
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