For overzealous news channels whipping up frenzy over the upcoming Delhi elections, the anointment of Kiran Bedi as BJP’s CM candidate was just the fodder they needed. Personality clashes are after all great for TRPs. The lip-smacking prospect of two one-time associates, who were mentored by Gandhian Anna Hazare, taking pot shots at each other and coming up with catchy one-liners makes for interesting viewing.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn and it’s over to the two contenders, who will promise the moon and sway voters with their carefully orchestrated moves. While one professes to do away with lal batti (red light) culture, the other in her heydays had the temerity to issue a challan to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car. With pollsters divided on which party will get the numbers, it’s all to play for. People fed up of a political class that takes great delight in flaunting the outer trappings of power see a messiah in AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. As chief minister, Kejriwal dispensed with the privileges that come with the chief minister’s office.
This captured the public imagination and propelled him to dizzy heights in the eyes of the ‘aam aadmi’. Kiran Bedi will no doubt cash in on the image of the no-nonsense cop, who dared to take on the establishment and paid the price by being denied the commissioner’s job. Spin doctors in both the Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata party have enough ammunition to give their star campaigners the edge in a high decibel poll campaign.
Social media too has warmed up to the delightful possibilities of the impending presidential style duel between the friends turned bitter rivals. As the battle for Delhi enters its slog overs both players will be in the T-20 mode. Both Kejriwal and Bedi will hope to make the half chances count and make sure that loose deliveries are despatched over the boundary. Indian voters are notoriously fickle; striking a discordant note might ring the death knell for either candidate. So as the two warriors get ready for a slugfest, voters will brace themselves for a real humdinger.