Rajat Sharma

BJP’s aggressive campaign on Shaheen Bagh could prove costly for Kejriwal

AKB1010Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lashed out at anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh, Seelampur and Jamia Millia alleging it was not a ‘coincidence’ (sanyog) but a ‘plot’ (prayog) to destroy communal harmony. Addressing a mammoth BJP election rally, Modi alleged that display of national flag and Constitution was just a deception by protesters to mask their real intent.

Modi appealed to voters to support BJP in the Delhi elections in order to, what he called, ‘stop anarchy from spreading’. Modi reminded voters that it was Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who had questioned the intent of brave Delhi police officers during the Batla House encounter with terrorists. I have seen that video of Kejriwal today. Modi is right when he is saying that Kejriwal had supported the ‘tukde-tukde’ gang during those days. Modi is also right when he says that Kejriwal had demanded evidence of the surgical strike against Pakistan.

With the change in political scenario, Kejriwal has now changed his style of making statements. He has started making adjustments to suit his political ends. He has not visited the Shaheen Bagh protesters even once. On Monday, Kejriwal recited Hanuman Chalisa at an event.

There has also been a marked change in Kejriwal’s outlook towards Prime Minister Modi. For the first four and half years of his tenure as Chief Minister, he never lost any opportunity to criticize Modi for every step that the Prime Minister took. I remember him once alleging that Modi has a ‘setting’ with Pakistani leaders. In the last six months, Kejriwal has not made a single remark against the Prime Minister either through speech or through his tweets. This is a clear sign of change in Kejriwal’s style of politics. He has realized that his party would suffer politically if he challenged Modi.

And now, about the present state of poll campaign in Delhi. When the campaign began, Kejriwal highlighted what he claimed his achievements in providing free water, free electricity, free DTC bus travel for women, mohalla clinics, modernized government schools and free medical treatment. He thought this would put BJP on the defensive.

However, in the last seven to ten days, BJP has launched a double barrelled attack on AAP. Amit Shah and J. P. Nadda came out with videos to debunk Kejriwal’s claims of providing better schools and hospitals.

Kejriwal was unfazed, but his concern is more over the all-out campaign on Shaheen Bagh, Sharjeel Imam and tukde-tukde gang launched by Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath. The more Kejriwal tries to evade replies to these attacks, the more BJP’s attacks have become aggressive. Barely three days are now left for campaigning, and Prime Minister Modi’s frontal attack on AAP could prove costly for Kejriwal.

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