Any publicity is good publicity. That’s what must have been running inside the head of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal these days. After all, Delhi MCD elections are just two weeks away, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) needs to think fast. After the washout of AAP in state general polls in Punjab and Goa, the Delhi CM has not shied away from blaming the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). He has been accusing faulty EVMs for his failure in Punjab.
The AAP chief’s ruse is that when popular poll had declared him a winner in Punjab, how could the people defeat him in the actual elections? Maybe, the otherwise ‘politically aware’ Kejriwal forgot to pluck a leaf from this year’s biggest poll tamasha: US Presidential polls. While Hillary Clinton had swept the pre-polls, it was Donald Trump who surprised everyone (including himself, maybe) with the drastic win.
Coming back to Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi CM on Monday hit out at the Election Commission (EC) over alleged tampering of EVMs, dubbing the poll panel as the blind ‘Dhritarashtra’ from the Mahabharata. In the battle of Kurukshetra, Dhritarashtra − the blind father of the 100 Kauravas − supported his sons although they were on the wrong side. Drawing a similar analogy, Arvind Kejriwal has said, “The Election Commission is behaving like Dhritrashtra who is trying to help his son Duryodhan win the elections and bring him to power by hook or by crook.”
Not to seem like someone crying that the grapes are sour, the AAP leader acknowledged that EVMs used in the past did not have problems. This gets funnier because when AAP won the Delhi elections, the poll machines had no issues. Now, says the Delhi CM: “Machines are being brought from Rajasthan which is manipulated.” All these points at one thing: Arvind Kejriwal lives in denial. The EC has countered allegations of EVMs being unreliable, saying the machines are tamper-proof and even the manufacturers cannot manipulate them.
The Aam Aadmi Party has not met with the promises that it had made to Delhiites. There has been no free wi-fi, neither discounted electricity and water bills. It’s natural that AAP is jittery of an apparent defeat in the upcoming MCD polls. By blaming the EVMs, Arvind Kejriwal is serving two purposes: creating something to blame later on, and secondly, attempting to make Delhi voters believe that AAP still has the potential to be a masses’ party.
Kejriwal has said, “Tampered EVMs will not deter the AAP from the electoral process.” It sounds more like a premonition of a defeat that a confident battle cry.