The race is warming up and Gujarat seems to be gripped with a fatal poll symptom. While defacing walls with political graffiti was never a concern for any political party, the BJP, however, seems to have taken on AAP’s “broom” with a mission. If you saw an AAP symbol on the neighbourhood walls last week, check again. It is either whitewashed clean or, as in most cases, now sporting the saffron lotus.
Significantly, the passive “hand” has been left untouched. Insiders read this as “horse trading” post polls because old foes can be turned into new friends. But an aggressive rookie is difficult to predict.
Delhi CM and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s slogan is “ek moko Kejriwal ne” . The chant ek moko Kejriwal ne translates to “just one chance to Kejriwal.” Though simple, it is a powerful message to a state riddled with communal polarisation, an education system that evidently gains in keeping its vote-bank unlettered, constant scams in civil service exams, farmers fraught with debt and an economy that is going through bouts of unpredictability.
The “Delhi Model” of public schools and mohalla clinics is every poor man’s wish. Kejriwal has done it. And so, there’s every reason to give him a chance, because 27 years of the same party could not.
Realising fully that AAP poses a threat to BJP, Kejriwal has claimed that BJP is “terrified by AAP and is making organisational changes.”
In a bid to gauge the public mood, Vibes Of India, took to Amdavad’s streets and caught on video, a labourer whitewashing the broom. When asked to explain, he said: “AMC has instructed us to remove all broom symbols from the city’s walls.”
However, BJP’s Ellisbridge MLA Rakesh Shah and Ahmedabad West MP Kirit Solanki said that “defacing public walls must be dealt with sternly.” When asked to comment on the BJP’s lotus blooming on walls, the duo seemed to suggest that the ruling party is “privy to public property because it maintains the same.”
Along the same lines, BJP’s state chief spokesperson Yamal Vyas said “removal of symbols from public properties is being done as per government’s rules. Posters and writings of all parties are being removed. This action is part of a cleanliness drive by the government and corporations for a Smart City. We are not targeting any single party.”
Likewise, BJP’s Bapunagar corporator, stated: “AAP wants to mislead the public. They do not have grassroot workers and have resorted to brainwashing the people by planting their symbols all over. The AMC proactively takes action to remove posters and banners to maintain cleanliness in the city.”
Gujarat, a Krishna-worshipping bastion, Kejriwal has carefully opted for a narrative to relate to the people. As he puts it time and again: “We are fighting a dharamyudh. Just like in the Mahabharat where the Kauravas were backed by the state infra, the BJP has the CBI, ED and I-T to intimidate its opponent. But we do not fear because Krishna is with us and our truth. In the end, the Pandavas won and so will we.”
AAP’s National Joint General secretary Isudan Gadhvi added: “The Congress and BJP are one and a post-poll arrangement has been worked out. Our presence is rankling them both and the BJP has taken to force to oppress many party workers. At this rate, they will not hesitate to arm-twist the aam janta to vote for them.”
On the same note, AAP Spokesperson Yogesh Jadvani stated how BJP has taken to whitewashing its failures. “If they had done good work for 27 years, no party or promise could have dared to make inroads. The BJP is a corrupt failure and the people are fed up.”
The writing, however, is on the walls.
(With inputs from Hitesh Chavda)