TINA factor absent, BJP battles it out

TINA factor absent, BJP battles it out

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal during a road show in Badli constituency along with party candidate Ajesh Yadav ahead of Assembly poll in Delhi. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 22

Hema Malini, Sunny Deol among 40 star campaigners

  • The BJP on Wednesday released a list of 40 star campaigners for the Delhi elections. Besides PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda, the list includes actors Hema Malini and Sunny Deol and singer Hans Raj Hans. BJP-ruled states Chief Ministers like Yogi Adityanath, Jairam Thakur, Manohar Lal Khattar, Trivendra Singh Rawat will also be campaigning for the party.

Interestingly, the BJP’s biggest problem in Delhi is its biggest strength at the national level. While TINA (there is no alternative) factor ensured the return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a bigger and better majority in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, not pitching a strong CM candidate against incumbent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal may work against its interest in the almost presidential form of elections shaping up in Delhi. Observers, in fact, are surprised why the BJP is not using the goodwill of its amiable Delhi leader, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, against Kejriwal.

Another factor, almost related, is the recall factor of candidates contesting in the 70-member Assembly. Not just the BJP or the Congress, many Delhi voters The Tribune talked to also appeared unaware of the name of the AAP candidate from their area. “But given that AAP supporters are all voting for Kejriwal, it works well for the party. People may not know many AAP candidates but they know Kejriwal,” the observers say.

It seems even the BJP candidate against Kejriwal, Sunil Yadav, initially expressed apprehensions over being fielded against high-profile AAP leader. Sources, however, say he was told by the senior leadership that instead of “finishing his political career” as he was apprehending, the high profile contest had the potential of making him a known national figure. After all was Kejriwal as well known when he first contested against Sheila Dikshit? Union Minister Smriti Irani also earned her place in the Narendra Modi Cabinet for her spirited fight against Congress scion Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the 2014 General Election

However, AAP knows well the BJP dilemma and has been using it for many weeks now. Banking upon ‘brand Kejriwal’, AAP believes the TINA factor that worked for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will also work for it in Delhi in 2020. Though as per the BJP, it has several strong leaders in Delhi which they can declare as CM candidate but they want to contest the elections under the name of PM Modi.

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