AAP's focus on governance issues trumped BJP's polarisation bid, says Shiv Sena

Updated: Feb 12, 2020, 11:07 IST | PTI | Mumbai

The Shiv Sena praised Delhi Chief Minister and AAP president Arvind Kejriwal, saying he single-handedly took on the "army of BJP leaders".

Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray

The Shiv Sena on Wednesday said Aam Aadmi Party's campaign designed around the works done by it won it a landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly polls while the BJP's "polarisation attempt" failed to click with voters of the national capital. The Shiv Sena praised Delhi Chief Minister and AAP president Arvind Kejriwal, saying he single-handedly took on the "army of BJP leaders", including chief ministers and central leaders, and successfully showcased the works done by his government in fields like education and health.

"This is rare as elections in India are generally contested on sentimental issues," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party took a dig at former ally BJP, saying the Aam Aadmi Party's win indicated the defeat of arrogance and the attitude of "what we say is rule". Losing the Delhi Assembly polls and a Shiv Sena chief minister in the country's financial capital Mumbai (Maharashtra) would be "deeply hurting" Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who wanted to secure at least one victory for the BJP after stepping down as its national president, it said.

On Tuesday, Kejriwal led the Aam Aadmi Party to a stupendous victory yet again in the Delhi Assembly polls, dealing a body blow to the main rival BJP and completely decimating the Congress in a keenly-watched battle in the midst of anti-CAA protests. Congratulating Kejriwal over the win, the Shiv Sena said, "The BJP entered the Delhi Assembly poll campaign with its entire army of MPs, MLAs and chief ministers from neighbouring states, but Kejriwal alone trumped them. It is the defeat of arrogance and the attitude of 'hum kare so kaayda' (what we say is rule)." The BJP tried to build its poll narrative around issues like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), "Hindu- Muslim" and labelling the Shaheen Bagh protest as agitation of Muslims alone, but the electorate did not fall for such "polarisation" and voted in favour of Kejriwal, it said.

The law and order in Delhi being under the Union Home Ministry also actually benefitted the AAP, it claimed. "Kejriwal succeeded in blaming Modi-Shah for the poor law and order situation in Delhi. At the same time, he took credit for his efforts in the betterment of education, health and transportation services in Delhi," the Sena said. Thus, AAP's "broom" (its poll symbol) swept the Delhi elections completely, it added. Losing the Delhi Assembly polls after missing out on having a BJP chief minister in Mumbai would be "deeply hurting" Amit Shah, it said.

After stepping down from the post of BJP president, Shah wanted to secure at least one win for his party which has been losing elections in state Assemblies after its huge victory in the Lok Sabha polls, the Marathi daily said. Though J P Nadda was recently appointed the BJP president, the party's campaign for the Delhi polls was steered by Amit Shah, it noted. "All the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi were won by the BJP last year, but in the Assembly polls there it faced a strong local alternative in the form of Arvind Kejriwal, who sought votes on the basis of works he did," the Sena said.

It said the BJP was "confused" how to counter Kejriwal, but the AAP leader designed his entire campaign around the works done by his government in Delhi. "This is rare as elections in India are generally contested on sentimental issues," the Sena said.

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