The electoral fight between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharathiya Janata party can be compared to the fight between the Biblical figures of David and Goliath. Goliath of Gath was a giant Philistine warrior defeated by a young boy called David without any weapons and protective gears. The BJP, being the ruling party at the Centre, had immense resources and power at its disposal. More than 200 MPs, many Union Ministers and Chief Ministers from the neighbouring states, including UP CM Yogi Aadityanath, campaigned intensely for the BJP.
Practically, the whole government machinery was at its beck and call for tilting the people’s mandate in its favour. A supple police force directly under the control of Home Minister, Amit Shah, who was at the forefront of the election campaign of the BJP, and a week Election Commission which took only nominal disciplinary action against the blatant violators of the Model Code of Conduct and section 123 (3A) and section 123 (4) of the Representation of People’s Act (1951), appeared to be in its favour.
The BJP had nothing positive to offer to the people of Delhi. The Modi Government has failed miserably in fulfilling its election promises. ‘Sab ka saat sabka vikas and sabka vishwas’ has remained a cruel joke. The economy is in shambles; industries shutting down, businesses are facing huge loses and millions of people are losing jobs. That is why the former finance minister, P Chidambaram, said that the Indian economy is in ICU. Because of its disastrous and destructive policies, social unrest has spread all over the country. A natural consequence is hesitance on the part of foreign and Indian investors. The image of India as a vibrant democracy before the world nations has suffered a huge erosion because of the vindictive policies and divisive and discriminatory laws passed under the Modi government.
As the BJP had nothing to project as its achievements, it used all destructive weapons in its arsenal against the AAP. It liberally indulged in hate mongering and pouring communal vitriol. BJP MP Parvesh Verma and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had the audacity to call the Chief Minister of Delhi a terrorist. "There is a reason that the voters of Delhi have turned away from Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal makes an innocent face and asks - 'am I a terrorist?' – You are a terrorist, there is plenty of proof. You had yourself said you are an anarchist; there is not much difference between an anarchist and terrorist," Mr. Javadekar said.
Verma was the first to use the term ‘terrorist’ for the Delhi Chief Minister on January 25, on the campaign trail. "We hear instances of Hindu women picked up by Muslim men... no action is taken as terrorists like Kejriwal are hidden everywhere. Should we fight with Pakistan terrorists in Kashmir or with terrorists like Kejriwal," Verma said. Even before Delhi election, the BJP leaders had already proved their proclivity and expertise in making wild allegations and abusive statements against their adversaries and anyone who disagreed with them.
Kejriwal's daughter, Harshita, slammed leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party who called her father a "terrorist". "They say politics is dirty but this is a new low. Is it terrorism if health facilities are made free? Is it terrorism if children are educated? Is it terrorism if power and water facilities are improved?" the 24-year-old questioned, recounting the achievements of the AAP government in the last five years.
The UP chief minister alleged Kejriwal and his party were siding with protesters at Shaheen Bagh and that a Pakistan minister and AAP were speaking in similar terms. Yogi Adityanath had said, "Earlier it was the Congress that used to feed biryani in Kashmir, now it is Kejriwal who is doing the same in Shaheen Bagh, everyone today has a new fetish of feeding biryani. Pakistani ministers are also making appeals for Kejriwal, one can imagine why that is happening."
The BJP had made Shaheen Bagh, the focus of its attack on AAP and its leader Kejriwal. Muslim women, with the active support of the members of other communities, have been protesting non-violently against the Citizen’s Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC/NPR for about one and half months at Shaheen Bagh, which has become the symbol of the nationwide protest against CAA and NRC/NPR. Women protesters of Shaheen Bagh wear headbands saying, “I love India,” wave national flags and sing the national anthem, pledging to protect the equality guaranteed by the Constitution. Yet BJP leaders were calling the protesters terrorists, anti-nationals, pro-Pakstanis, and “tukde tukde” gangs wanting to break India up. They have spread the blatant lie that AAP was supporting the women protestors by providing them biriyani and Rs. 500/- per day. What a lie and distortion of truth?
At an election rally in Delhi Anurag Thakur, the minister of state for finance, shouted “desh ke gaddaron ko” to which the crowd responded, “goli maro saalon ko” (shoot down the traitors). After this open appeal to shoot the protestors at Shaheen Bagh, three incidents of shooting took place near the venue of the protest in the presence of police force.
Amit Shah, the Home Minister, at a public rally in Delhi said that he wanted the voters to press so hard on the ‘button’ which registered their vote that it would send a shock all the way to Shaheen Bagh. The Prime Minister also targeted the protestors at Shaheen Bagh instead of disciplining his party men and ministers. During the campaign for Delhi she said that he saw in the Shaheen Bagh protest a sinister attempt to spread anarchy in India.
Not only the BJP leaders, but also the Delhi Police, which is expected to be neutral in fulfilling their task, often sided with the BJP. On 4th February a young man, Kapil Gujjar, fired two or three times in the air, standing near the spot where hundreds of women and children were sitting. While being led away, he was heard saying: " Humare desh mein sirf Hinduon ki chalegi aur kisi ki nahi (in our country only Hindus will prevail)." The Crime Branch Police of Delhi made a startling statement that Kapil Gujar and his father were members of the AAP. But later father of Kapil Gujar told publically that he and his son were not the members of AAP.
The campaign of the BJP in Delhi was characterized by spewing the venom of hatred against the Muslims, making blatantly false allegations and lies against its adversaries and filthy personal attacks on Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister. Issues of governance were wilfully neglected in view of polarizing the Hindu votes by vilifying the Muslims as traitors and anti-nationals. Never has India seen such a polarized and communalized election campaign as the BJP did in Delhi. In fact, it was the dirtiest of all election campaigns, according to an AAP spokesperson. It can be counted as the mother of all hate-filled election campaigns in India.
On the other hand, Kejriwal and his party focused on the development work undertaken by the AAP government, especially in the field of education, health and provision of basic facilities like electricity and water. Some of the initiatives of the AAP in the field of education that have improved quality of education are the following.
· Making education free up to Class 12.
· Increasing scholarship for students scoring 80 per cent and above to Rs 2,500, and removing ‘family income’ rider on it.
· Regulating private school fees and directing 575 schools to refund excess fees.
· Scrapping the management quota in admissions.
· Scrapping 62 “arbitrary” assessment criteria for nursery admissions in private unaided schools.
· Introducing a happiness curriculum, entrepreneurship mindset curriculum, and announcing a ‘ deshbhakti curriculum’ this Independence Day eve.
· Establishing school management committees to improve parent-teacher relationship.
· Installing CCTV cameras in classrooms and giving parents access to the live feed.
The following are the main aspects of the heath care services that benefited the people of Delhi.
· Expansion of Health Care Infrastructure