Which way will Delhi vote?
Quite naturally the Delhi elections are a talking point, especially in the capital. Yes, the capital sends only 7 Lok Sabha MPs to Parliament but there is a larger battle of perception being fought here. And so when Rajasthan’s Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot hosted his annual Kisaan Lunch for the media (a tradition he inherited from his father, the late Rajesh Pilot) the buzz was all about the coming elections. The two questions being asked were: Will AAP cross 50? And will BJP reach double digits? The Congress barely figured on the discussion table, which is another story by itself. Interestingly, the general consensus was 50 to 55 (a few even went as far as a 60) for AAP and anything from 5 to 12 for the BJP. Well, this was all before the voting and the exit polls. But amidst makki ki roti, saag and farm fresh vegetables Pilot’s kisaan lunch made for an agreeable day out in the sun.
The politics of Shaheen Bagh
Which way will the minority vote go? Although the Aam Admi Party has publicly distanced itself from the Shaheen Bagh protest, even requesting the protestors to call off the protest before the elections, the general perception is that the vote from Shaheen bagh will go in favour of the AAP. The protestors claim that while it was the Congress leaders who came out in public to support them, they don’t want their vote to go waste and hence will vote for the party best placed to defeat the BJP, that is the AAP. What is interesting is that while Kejriwal is keen to see the protest being called off as he clearly feels this is only polarising the vote, the BJP is equally seen to let it carry on for the very same reason. And so while Kejriwal studiously avoids talking about Shaheen Bagh (or the CAA for that matter) BJP leaders are sure to bring this up in every election rally. Go figure!
The PM’s Walk
Last week, I had an opportunity to observe Prime Minister Narendra Modi closely, at a former colleague and author, Uday Mahurkar’s daughter’s wedding. Of course the SPG cleared the way for him and the way to the dais was cordoned off, but there was a small VIP area near the dais where some MPs and senior editors gathered, hoping to have a word with him. However, having blessed the couple the PM chose instead to walk around the cordoned area where the rest of the wedding guests were waiting, posing for a selfie with some and greeting those he recognised.