The Bharatiya Janata Party is closely watching the Aam Aadmi Party's growing national ambitions and has started sensing a weakness in the way it has functioned in power so far in Delhi.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the AAP government in Delhi has confused substantive governance with style of governance.
He said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's rookie party may be entitled to its unconventional style of governance, but "unconventional style is not a substitute for substantive governance".
Jaitley's observation, made in an article, came a day after BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi signalled to party leaders that Kejriwal's approach needed to explained to people for its pitfalls. Modi had raked up Kejriwal's style after chaos hit the Delhi CM's "janata darbar" on Saturday.
Ahead of the BJP mega conclave in Delhi next week, Jaitley said there were two challenges before the Capital.
As he put it, there is an unprivileged Delhi which does not possess even basic amenities, and then there is a Delhi which aspires to be a global city. He said the government of Delhi had to respond to both challenges.
Jaitley said publicity with style of governance, without substantive governance, was mere gimmickry. "Gimmickry does not leave its footprint behind. Excessive gimmickry becomes an object of ridicule."
He added that the AAP government was now becoming a victim of its own style.
"The new government in Delhi formed by the AAP has a historic opportunity to respond to the confidence which a section of the voters have reposed in it. Voters are ruthless in making their choices. They vote in a government and can turn their anger towards the same if it fails to perform."
The BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Delhi polls with 32 seats (which includes 1 for ally Akali Dal) of the 70, but did not form the government after failing to get a majority on its own.
The saffron party would be keen on turning the tables on the AAP, which won 28 seats on debut and formed the government in Delhi with outside support from the Congress, which bagged eight seats.
In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is set to highlight that governance involves policy formulation and implementation, not merely hype.
Jaitley said policies would have to be sound, based on established principles and implemented in a transparent and honest manner. He added that getting positive publicity for serious governance could be a part of clever politics blended with good governance.