Modi-Shah not invincible, says Sanjay Raut on Delhi Assembly poll results

Sanjay Raut. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said the Delhi Assembly poll results indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah are not invincible.

In his weekly column in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Sanjay Raut, also its executive editor, criticised the BJP’s “religion-centric” political strategy while lauding the developmental works of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government.

He said the BJP, which appeared invincible during the Lok Sabha polls, fell like a “house of cards” in Delhi.

The AAP returned to power winning 62 of the 70 Assembly seats in the Delhi Assembly election held on February 8.

“No country is without religion, but religion does not mean patriotism...a follower of Lord Hanuman, Kejriwal brought Ram Rajya in Delhi, though the BJP almost fielded Lord Ram in this election,” Mr. Raut said.

“The picture of Delhi was of Kejriwal as a devotee of Hanuman and the people of Delhi became Ram...Ram strongly stood behind Hanuman,” he said, adding that there are lessons to be learnt from this election.

“BJP leaders earlier said that those who do not vote for the saffron party would be traitors, so is the entire Delhi going to get that stamp?” Mr. Raut asked.

“The Delhi verdict indicates that Modi-Shah are not invincible any longer. It also points out that voters are not dishonest. Religious whirlwinds were stoked for political gains, but voters did not get carried away,” he said.

People should get over the “myth” that only Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah can win elections, the Rajya Sabha member said.

Sharing an experience from a recent international visit, Mr. Raut said while he was at the Tashkent airport in Uzbekistan, two Indians living there for years told him that the “BJP bubble has started to burst now”.

“Even Lord Ram is not helping the party win polls. They [the two Indians] shared their views on the day of vote counting [for Delhi polls],” the Shiv Sena leader said.

The common factor between Prime Minister Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is that “both are self-centered”, but Mr. Modi also has “huge arrogance and pomposity”, Mr. Raut added.

He said Mr. Kejriwal also wanted to “conquer the entire country”, but after facing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, he realised his limitations and built his party and its network in Delhi.

“The BJP has ridiculed Kejriwal’s freebies, like free electricity and water. BJP’s definition of patriotism comprises waging war against Pakistan, abrogation of Article 370, strong steps against infiltrators and random sloganeering of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai,” he said.

“The better form of patriotism [referring to Mr. Kejriwal] is offering better education and health services, while also providing electricity, water and shelter to the needy", Mr. Raut said.

Watch | Delhi's Chief Ministers over the years

“Will you [BJP] call it patriotism when two crore people lost jobs in the last two years?” Mr. Raut asked.

Before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP promised to deposit ₹15 lakh in every citizen’s bank account, but not even ₹15 has been deposited, he added.

The BJP also pushed the Delhi poll narrative towards issues like the Ram temple, [abrogation of] Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir, surgical strike and the promise of Hindutva, but people instead chose Mr. Kejriwal, who provided them essential services, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 9:57:39 PM |

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