One of India‘s newest political leaders has stood up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has taken his throne in a stunning political victory in Delhi, journalist and television presenter Barkha Dot writes.
The war against Kejriwal
In an article in The Washington Post, the writer noted that Arvind Kejriwal, a mechanical engineer who began his journey in public life as an anti-corruption activist, is set to become Delhi’s third prime minister after winning the most fear-riddled campaign in the national capital in decades.
Dot considered this victory exceptional because it was Interior Minister Amit Shah, india‘s second most powerful figure, who personally ran the war room against Kejriwal, and it was a dramatic victory because he provided a new model of how modi and Shah’s authority could be challenged, in a country that is polarized between the right and the left in an unprecedented way.
Kejriwal defines a new political centrality.
Unlike other opposition figures, Kejriwal avoided personally attacking Modi and once described his relationship with him as “excellent,” although another figure in the ruling party described him as a “terrorist.”
The writer added that The Kejriwal Party, meaning the average citizen, defended its right against the backdrop of a fierce campaign by the ruling party over India‘s controversial new citizenship law, which excludes Muslim immigrants from the hastily placed Mwatana program and sparked widespread protests in the capital, including a pause A two-month mass women’s protest led by the Muslim-majority neighborhood of Shaheen Bagh.
Against the Citizenship Act
Interior Minister Shah had sought to make Shaheen Bagh the political center of the ruling party’s campaign by trying to split the social ranks by playing on the chord of Islamophobia and nationalism.
The Kejriwal party voted against citizenship legislation in Parliament.
One of the ways that led to Kejriwal’s success was that he realized that he had to be very central, in the sense of a left-leaning view on economic issues and to the right with regard to national security, to ensure that the ruling party did not find an opportunity to shift dialogue from development to nationalism or politics, the author said.
She concluded that Kejriwal’s landslide victory may not change the course of India‘s national politics, but it certainly pushed him toward swaying a national expansion, and with no rival across India to confront Modi, it is the state elections that set the checks and balances that democracy needs.
With all the harsh criticism that the ruling party has fought, Kejriwal is more important than ever.