The election in Delhi has generated great political heat with both BJP, and AAP fighting a no hold barred fight to win the polls. While AAP lead by Arvind Kejriwal has been able to generate support in the lower middle class, and weaker sections of society including minorities, the BJP can count on the large middle class which has undoubtedly come on the side of the saffron front. There are also a large number of people in Delhi who have been impressed by the entry of Kiran Bedi, who has had a long record of serving the people in the city. Both Kiran Bedi, and Kejriwal are strong contenders for the post of Chief Minister, and as such have left no stone unturned to win the battle for Delhi.
Both of them have many things in common including the lack of long political experience, and can best be called as mavericks. Bedi, and Kejriwal both were public servants, and had an association with administration and power. While Bedi claims her experience of 40 years in the police service will help in serving the people better, Kejriwal says that his short stint as a bureaucrat, and long time served as crusader will work for the betterment of Delhi.
Interestingly both the CM candidates have won the prestigious Magasasay awards with Bedi winning it for Tihar jail reforms, and Kejriwal getting it for the work he has done to strengthen the RTI movement. The due have strong personalities, and are known to work better as individuals and lesser in teams. Critics say that both the leaders have autocratic tendencies, and believe in running the ship on their own steam which could be a major handicap in political arena. Already the AAP has seen several founder members leaving because they found the top leadership to be rigid under Kejriwal, and his core group. The BJP too is in a dilemma because the parachuting of Kiran Bedi has lead to internal dissension, and anger among long time workers as she known to be loner, and has no prior political experience.
Bedi has been known to be a strict police official who brooked no political interference, and was transferred 22 times in her long career. Many a times she was sent to punishment postings as she refused to listed to the political masters. Kejriwal however till few years back was known to be close to the Congress leadership, and has never been transferred in his career. However, both took VRS from the service, and entered into public service.
The inflection point for both Kiran Bedi, and Arvind Kejriwal to burst into political life was the Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption. Both the CM candidates played crucial role in the Hazare led India against Corruption movement. However, it was the formation of a political party by Arvind Kejriwal which lead to his parting of ways with Anna in October 2012. Bedi sided with Anna at that time, and it took almost two years for her to join mainstream politics.
Now the battle of Delhi has reached the final stage and within a week the result will be out. Whether it is Kejriwal’s promise of change, and ending corruption wins or Kiran Bedi’s strong image impresses the voters only the ballot box will decide. But the duo will give the strongest shot knowing that it is the biggest battle of their lives.