Clueless Delhi BJP taken for a ride by Kejriwal

By Sidharth Mishra

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s address in Delhi Assembly on the motion of thanks to the Lieutenant Governor’s address has gone viral, thanks to the IT cell of the BJP and its cohorts. Kejriwal is being lambasted for not making a recent Bollywood release Kashmir Files tax free for viewing in the cinema halls of Delhi.

Courtesy the very enterprising IT cell’s initiative, and alittle realizing the damage they were doing, a large section of the social media citizens of the national Capital got a full eight-minute video to watch, where Kejriwal roasted his political rivals and pointed to them how clueless, rudderless and adrift from reality was the leadership of Delhi unit of the BJP.

The reference to Kashmir Files came when Kejriwal referred to the ruckus created by the opposition benches during the Lt Governor’s address a day earlier. Pointing to the placards carried by the small team of eight BJP MLAs during their protest inside the House, Kejriwal said that some demanded shutting down of the liquor shops and others making Kashmir Files tax free.

He was not very far from truth in claiming that the local leadership of the BJP has no understanding of the issues in the city, and like true puppets wait for their strings to be pulled by party’s central leadership to act. It fails political understanding that how could making the viewing of Kashmir Files tax free be an issue in capital’s politics.

The BJP’s IT Cell is responsible for creating a larger national narrative for the party in consonance with its ideology but at the state-level the challenge of agenda-setting has to be taken up by the local units. BJP has the example of Uttar Pradesh, where Yogi Adityanath-led local party apparatus dovetailed the local agenda with the national narrative and not the converse, as being done in Delhi to peddle national narrative as part of the local political agenda. This is sure sort formula for the local BJP unit to face rout in the municipal polls, as and when they are held.

Who understands this better than Arvind Kejriwal? On the day when his government should have been cornered for poor health condition of the citizens, Delhi just topped the tuberculosis list, the opposition benches remained blissfully unaware about it, forget raising the issue in the house.

According to the data from the Central Tuberculosis Division under Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, TB cases in Delhi have increased by 11,421 or 13% in the last one year. A total of 87,062 cases were recorded from 22 March, 2020, to 22 March, 2021, while in the next one year (22 March, 2021 to 22 March, 2022), the number increased to 98,483. One is still to come across a statement from the Delhi BJP on the matter of tuberculosis with its president Adesh Gupta keeping himself busy with Kashmir Files.

The Aam Aadmi Party is engaging BJP in Delhi on the issues of identity and the latter is willfully walking into the political minefield. AAP has engaged BJP into a race of competitive nationalism as it suits its political strategy for the municipal corporation polls.

The fact remains that the unification of MCD has been necessitated as the Delhi government failed to adequately fund the municipal body. There is now a provision of central funding for the municipal bodies under the new bill presented in parliament. But who would take this message to the people if the BJP cadres are busy vending cause of Kashmir and remain oblivious to problems of the national Capital.

(First published in The Morning Standard)