We all have heard that a good hero always needs a great villain, an arch-nemesis. Since its inception, the Bharatiya Janata Party has looked itself as a hero and the Congress party as its nemesis. In the Delhi election, both of them seemed so absorbed into each other like old lovers that they almost became non-existent.
As the campaign of Delhi elections comes to an end, a look back at the campaign of the two national parties gives us a picture of Indian politics, where it lacks and comes February 11th where the two parties will stand.
BJP has always been a party of aggression when it comes to elections. Over the years, their aggression has become quite predictable. Ever since occupying an office in Delhi, they have fought every state assembly with a similar strategy, similar mindset and almost the same manifesto.
The BJP election campaign starter pack includes Nationalism, Ram Mandir and Article 370 which they no longer can use, a string of attacks on the Congress, Rahul Gandhi and their overall inability, a here-and-there talk of development and a little praise of the Prime Minister. This has worked for them in several elections.
The Congress, on the other hand, under the questionable leadership of Rahul Gandhi, has become a defensive party without agenda. Much of their defense stems from the regular attacks by the BJP. It is almost as if they are having a question and answer session through the public forums.
The Delhi election 2020 has shaken this order. To begin with, neither of the parties could crack a coalition with the Aam Aadmi Party which meant that the battle has to be fought in a three-way model. With Arvind Kejriwal constantly bringing the conversation back to developmental issues, the Congress and BJP had no option but to expose each other.
The BJP despite making claims of mismanagement by the AAP government failed to back it up with substantial arguments. This handed the AAP an advantage. Yet the BJP continued its aggressive style of campaigning by choosing an opponent in Shaheen Bagh protestors.
With repeated mentions of Shaheen Bagh in the speeches of BJP leaders and sticking Congress’ name on it, the BJP brought back the conversation to the Congress. However, it didn’t have any substantial impact on AAP.
In a bid to attack the Congress, Shaheen Bagh, and the AAP, several BJP leaders have come under the scanner of the election commission with some of them facing bans.
The Congress, so used to retaliating the BJP, suddenly felt compelled to be defensive and reacted to the allegation. It was yet another attempt by the Congress to dig its own grave. By doing so, they virtually voted them out of the competition.
The failure of both the Congress and the BJP to identify the agenda and back it up with a face has turned the average voter into a handicap once again. The voter, like always, is left with little option when he goes to vote.
The Delhi elections only cement the perception that, despite being the opposition to each other, Congress and BJP share a love-hate relationship and one cannot thrive without the other.