An internal survey of the Aam Aadmi Party shows that about one-third of the Delhi electorates who want to see Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi Chief Minister also root for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
But AAP leaders are not worried with this outcome as they think that Mr. Modi will not be able to translate his popularity rating into votes for his party in the Delhi Assembly elections, scheduled on December 4.
“The support to Mr. Modi does not necessarily translate into votes for the BJP in Delhi. In spite of several rallies by Mr. Modi, Mr. Kejriwal continues to be people’s favourite. He is far ahead of the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan and incumbent Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,” said AAP leader Yogendra Yadav.
Asked if the support to Mr. Modi shows AAP’s existence in an “ideologically fluid state,” Anand Kumar, faculty at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems at Jawaharlal Nehru University and AAP spokesperson, said support to the BJP prime ministerial candidate is by a small section of the people and it has nothing to do with the ideology of AAP.
Prof. Kumar said: “Instead, the support to the Gujarat Chief Minster is the spill over of a very well organised and well-funded corporate campaign of presenting him as a leader of ‘development’. This campaign seems to impress some people, essentially because of the widespread disenchantment with the United Progressive Alliance Government and the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”
He said the AAP, which raises the slogan “Congress, BJP dhoka hai, desh bachao mauqa hai,” will reverberate across the country even after the Delhi election results.
Outside support for AAP
A 77-year-old from London and a doctor duo from Bhuj in Gujarat are among the many “outside” supporters camping here in order to ensure that the AAP emerges victorious.
His looks and British accent may conceal his Indian roots, but Jai Nath Misra from the U.K. says: “I work with the AAP’s U.K. wing and tell people there about the ‘common man’s party’ that is taking on political giants like the Congress and BJP.”
Mr. Misra, who hails from Bulandshahr in U.P. but left India in the 1960s, said many NRIs have come here to express solidarity with Mr. Kejriwal. “We are a group of about 60 NRIs who have travelled from different parts of the world. A doctor from Chicago has been here for months.”