Left-Libs, media rattled by rise of Kiran Bedi

Delhi elections have heated up the entire social, electronic and print media. Kiran Bedi's induction took AAP and Kejriwal by surprise. BJP took the fight to Kejriwal's doors and pitched one of his peers in Anna movement as his competition. This rattled Kejriwal. And his social media team began resurfacing old tweets of Kiran Bedi in which she criticised Modi. Certain media houses also played this to the hilt saying how Kiran Bedi had done a U-turn. Little did they realise that the person who they are propping up (Kejriwal) committed the biggest U-turn of the century when he despite swearing by his children formed the Government with the help of Congress. Everybody is entitled to change his opinion, we all do this in our daily lives, so no big deal about it. Grow up media guys!

A section of the media and the Delhi's elite, liberal, secular Lutyens’ club rattled by the rustic / small town Modi's rise is going all out to support AAP and Kejriwal and stop Modi's juggernaut at all costs. Modi, an ordinary tea seller, has closed the shop of these Delhi Darbaris. Free drinks and dinners hosted by the Ministers during Congress regime have been discontinued, this class is no longer the privileged class and doesn't have the insider news, neither they are being consulted for major policy decisions, hence they are feeling left out. They know that if Modi wins Delhi, then he will become powerful and they will be further marginalised in the corridors of power. This has given rise to a mutual interest, Kejriwal and the Lutyens club have got together to reduce the threat posed by Kiran Bedi and BJP.

With Kiran Bedi's appointment, AAP feared its support base shrinking. On a daily basis, Kejriwal and his supporters in media along with the Lutyens club, rake up one or another controversy regarding Kiran Bedi. Little do they realise that she is silently working on the side lines without much limelight. Her biggest selling point is that she is a woman. Women face law and order issues in the city and would vote in large numbers to get her elected. Which woman would like a mufflerman? Anybody?

Kejriwal challenged Kiran Bedi for a debate before the elections. Kiran Bedi who is new to politics compared to Kejriwal has less time to cover all constituencies, hence she declined. This was played by a section of media as weakness of Bedi - why is she running away from debates? Most of the channels carried out debates on why she said no to a debate. Nowhere is debate a part and parcel of our democratic set up. This type of experiment has never happened in India, so it's not as if she has not agreed to something which happens day in and day out in elections.

Kiran Bedi went for an interview with Arnab Goswami (Times Now) and she had to leave midway as she had some other engagements. We all know how difficult and self-centred Arnab is. You go for an interview on his channel, suddenly you realise that you are taking his interview and not the other way round. So, she should actually be congratulated that she went for the interview. A section of media including Times Now played this as 'Breaking News' showing she ran way due to uncomfortable questions. The same media forgot that Kejriwal has never dared to appear for an interview on Times Now. Again the same story, media bias

Stories surfaced that she has two voter IDs. This is very common in India as we do not have a centralised voter bank. If she has not voted from two places (which is the case) then that's not an issue. The same media forgot that in 2012 Kejriwal left his Ghaziabad home to attend election meetings in Goa without casting his vote in UP elections. Strident criticism from various quarters forced him to return from the airport - only to be told that his name did not figure in the voters list and neither did those of his family members. So a person who exhorted people to vote didn't even care to check whether he had a valid voter id or not.

Kiran Bedi received a Republic Day invite and got one of the prominent seats. Of course, she is the CM candidate of Delhi for BJP and deserved it. It is the prerogative of Central Government to decide the list of invitees and Governments all these years have used this in a discretionary manner. The aam aadmi Kejriwal didn’t get an invite, felt insulted and his friends in media / Lutyens club blew this up. Kiran Bedi in one of her rallies mentioned the Obama visit as a huge success for India. The Lutyens club lapped it up saying Kiran is naive and how can Obama be an election issue in Delhi. She didn't say BJP got Obama to India, Obama is the most powerful man in the world, so please vote for BJP. What bullshit! The convent educated and in some cases foreign returned Lutyens club members have this feeling that they are the smartest people on the earth. Of course a middle class person, who has worked her way through the system and achieved a lot, despite not being born with a silver spoon, is dumb in their dictionary.

The opinion polls are showing that the race to top post is close. Some show AAP neck and neck and some show AAP ahead of BJP. Kejriwal still remains the best choice for CM as per some polls. This has prompted a section of media to spread the news that Kiran Bedi nomination has backfired. There is internal revolt and Amit Shah miscalculated. Anybody who thinks that Amit Shah and BJP didn't know that her appointment will not be resented by a section of BJP leaders in Delhi is a Fool. Of course, they knew and despite have gone ahead with this calculated move. Women comprise of 47 per cent of Delhi voting population and have silently decided to support Kiran Bedi. This section support is enough to win Delhi polls.

One of the prominent online news portal editor has gone ahead and predicted that AAP is on its way to get paanch saal in Delhi. He has based his conclusion on opinion polls. I have a lot of respect for the gentleman, but he is ready to fork his neck out, based on opinion polls is laughable given the track record of opinion polls in India. In 2004, everybody predicted a NDA win in Lok Sabha. The Hindu in an article before elections (April 19, 2004) calculated an average of the polls as 271 seats for NDA. Actual result 181, 90 seats less than projected. In 2009, most polls expected Congress-led UPA to emerge as the largest combination, margin 20-30 seats, UPA 200, NDA 170-180 expected. Actual result UPA 262, NDA 159, margin of >100 seats. India Today predicted in December 1998 that the BJP+ would get 135 seats while the Congress would get a huge 305. Exactly opposite of this happened. In 2014, opinion polls predict a NDA led victory. BJP-led NDA expected to get 220-260 seats as per most surveys. NDA got 336.

Kejriwal is fighting for his survival. He knows that if he loses Delhi, then he will face rebellion in the party (Bhushans, Y Yadav etc.). He is fighting with his back to the wall. The Lutyens club has lent him a hand of support. Will it work remains to be seen?

NDA (BJP + Akali Dal) is sitting pretty on majority of the 32 seats it won last time. It is focussing on 8 seats where it lost to Opposition by less than 2,000 votes. This makes it 40 / 70 for BJP. No polls needed, this is what the strategy is. We need to wait till February 10 for the correct picture, till then keep fingers crossed.

Kiran Bedi can draw comfort from the fact that Modi received a similar media scrutiny and challenge when he became PM candidate, but in the end, he emerged victorious. As I wrap up, beautiful lines from movie Lagaan, composed by A R Rehman cross my mind "Sach aur Sahas hai jiske man mein, Ant mein jeet usi ki hoi"….

Courtesy Niti Central

 

 

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