The BJP has added an unexpected twist to the battle for Delhi by fielding Union Home Minister Amit Shah as its chief campaigner. Delhi voters were looking forward to another round of a Narendra Modi versus Arvind Kejriwal clash, especially after the former trounced the latter so comprehensively in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Instead, it’s turned into a Shah-Kejriwal face-off with the home minister campaigning like a prospective chief minister and picking arguments with the AAP leader on micro issues like CCTV cameras, public WIFI hotspots, free mobile charging, the number of buses plying on Delhi roads, etc.
- Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi are likely to jump into Delhi election campaign in the first week of February. (Photo: PTI file)
- In fact, if anything, Shah carries the burden of being seen as the face of the Delhi Police. As home minister, he oversees law and order in Delhi and is regarded as a super Police Commissioner
oes it behove the home minister of the country?” Kejriwal asked scathingly in a video recorded point-by-point rebuttal. Shah doesn’t have popular profile with Delhi residents, who know him only through television and social media, first as the BJP president and now as the home minister.
The shift in the BJP’s strategy is evident in the way Shah is buzzing around the city, addressing a minimum of two rallies every day, doing the occasional padyatra and even dropping in for lunch at a party worker’s residence for an informal interaction. He hit the road a day after nominations closed and hasn’t stopped.
Does Shah Have Credentials to Be a ‘Vote Catcher’?
The decision to get Shah to do the heavy lifting in Delhi instead of Modi has raised eyebrows and questions too. After all, does he really have the credentials to be a vote catcher for the BJP in the capital?
This is in sharp contrast to Modi who has dominated the political landscape since 2014 and remains, even today, a star attraction and crowd-puller.