Delhi Assembly Election 2020: The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is planning a massive door-to-door campaign to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempts to corner the ruling party over the Shaheen Bagh protests ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections. The shift was visible when AAP changed its poll slogan from ‘Achce rahe 5 saal, lage raho Kejriwal’ to ‘Mera vote kaam ko, seedhe Kejriwal ko’.
The party also plans to reach out to 50 lakh houses in Delhi within a span of seven days under its ‘Mera vote kaam ko, seedhe Kejriwal ko’ campaign. The campaign, which will see AAP leaders and volunteers visit Delhi residents along with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘guarantee card’ and ‘report card’.
The exercise is an attempt by the Aam Aadmi Party to blunt the BJP’s attempts to shift the narrative to anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh, from what AAP had so far relied upon. Kejriwal and his ministers have banked on its development work in the health and education sectors. Kejriwal, once the fiercest and most vocal critic of the Modi government, appeared a mellowed version of himself much before the election season kicked in.
The plan was to stay away from the shrill poll rhetoric of ‘us versus them’ and focus on keeping the campaign centred around the government’s performance. The BJP, well aware of this strategy, shifted gears and made the Shaheen Bagh protests the cornerstone of its poll campaign.
And the BJP’s attempts appeared to be working when a war of words erupted between Home minister Amit Shah and CM Kejriwal on Monday. The former BJP chief had a day earlier questioned the Delhi CM on his stand on the Shaheen Bagh protests and raised the issue of the inconvenience the road blockade was causing to residents of Delhi and adjoining suburbs. The protests, which have continued for over a month now, have been targetted by BJP leaders who allege that it was providing a platform to “anti-national” forces. Shah also sought votes for BJP by invoking Shaheen Bagh and said, “Press the EVM button (for BJP) so hard that the current (of the verdict) is felt at Shaheen Bagh.”
On Monday, Kejriwal shot back and accused the BJP government at the Centre of taking no steps to resolve the ongoing impasse. Kejriwal said the Centre’s inaction was deliberate as it wanted to politicise the protests and polarise voters in view of the elections. “BJP does not want the Shaheen Bagh blockade which is causing immense hardships to several people to end. This blockade will not end before February 8,” he said, referring to the Delhi elections.
Delhi will go to polls on February 8 and the counting of votes will be undertaken on February 11.
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Source: Financial Express