RSS admits to 'cut-throat' AAP-BJP fight in Delhi | india | Hindustan Times
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RSS admits to 'cut-throat' AAP-BJP fight in Delhi

The RSS in an article in its journal has said the BJP named Kiran Bedi as its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Delhi assembly elections after the saffron party got "adverse feedback" from the field against its state unit, the Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2015 17:27 IST
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BJP-Chief-Minister-candidate-Kiran-Bedi-address-during-her-election-campaign-at-Krishna-Nagar-area-in-New-Delhi-PTI-File-Photo
BJP-Chief-Minister-candidate-Kiran-Bedi-address-during-her-election-campaign-at-Krishna-Nagar-area-in-New-Delhi-PTI-File-Photo

A worried BJP inducted former IPS officer Kiran Bedi and projected her as its chief ministerial candidate in Delhi after getting "adverse feedback" from the field about the party's prospects in the upcoming assembly polls, according to an article in the RSS journal Organiser.

The article 'Delhi Assembly polls: Rejigging strategies', which appears in the journal's edition dated February 8, said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would not have a "cake-walk" in the polls but it also acknowledged that the BJP was not on "comfortable ground at present".

The article further acknowledged that Bedi's induction as the chief ministerial candidate had caused "resentment among a section within the state unit" of the BJP but the party had compensated for this by taking its campaign to "top gear" while the leadership had "recalibrated its poll strategy".

The RSS is considered the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and it plays a crucial role in shaping the policies of the party. BJP leaders routinely confer with the top hierarchy of the RSS on all key political issues.

The AAP and BJP are currently locked in a close race for power in Delhi and some surveys have projected a slender lead for the party headed by Arvind Kejriwal ahead of the February 7 polls.

The article, attributed to the Organiser's Delhi Bureau, predicted a "neck-and-neck fight between the BJP and the AAP" but contended that the "Congress is a non-entity in this election".

It contended that the AAP had faced "immense criticism" over Kejriwal's decision to quit as chief minister last year after only 49 days in office.

"There has been erosion in AAP's popularity amongst the middle-class that voted the AAP to power, as the voters felt cheated by the decision of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and this earned the latter the title of Bhagoda (man who runs away). AAP is trying hard for a comeback, which won't be an easy task for Kejriwal, who without thinking twice, went to Varanasi and challenged Narendra Modi for the post of prime minister," the article said.

But it also acknowledged that the AAP has managed to reclaim "a large portion of its lost ground" because of "its constant field work and anti-establishment rhetoric". It said the AAP is expected to gain from "pockets like slum-dwellers, resettlement colonies, a section of the lower-middle class and minorities (especially Muslims), a considerable chunk of urban youth, especially those either involved with NGOs or (harbouring) Left or Ultra-Left ideology".
On the other hand, the BJP is expected to benefit from prime minister Modi's development agenda and the rejigging of its poll strategy, including the roping in of ministers and MPs for its campaign.

It quoted political commentator Jagdish Upasane as saying that Bedi's induction was a positive move for the BJP because a "large chunk of Punjabi votes would come to the party". Her work as a police officer in Delhi and the "decaying law and order situation" and rising crime against women in the city would result in a "big number of votes of women" going to her, Upasane claimed.