Can kejriwal check mate rise of Narendra Modi? This is a question that is being asked by many at least in New Delhi following the impressive performance of the Aam Admi Party.
Rediff.com speaks to a cross section of people on the above stated factor. Many are of the view that while Arvind Kejriwal did represent a major change, at the national level it may take much more time before he could dent a Narendra Modi.
Professor Apoorvanand, Delhi University: looking at the way Kejriwal has been growing I see a distinct possibility that he may pose a threat or alternative to Modi. People want a credible face who display confidence in what he or she says. Parties like the Congress which are considered to be secular deterred on this confidence. Congress does not want to be seen as helping the Muslims as they fear they may anger the Hindus. An alternate would be looked into since the secularism of the Congress is empty and Rahul Gandhi does not carry any conviction. An arrogant Congress does not even allow another face to emerge.
There is a yearning for alternate politics. What the AAP did in Delhi it should do in other parts. It should contest all seats since the people will feel they are serious. Symbolism never works.
Justice Santhosh Hegde, former judge, Supreme Court of India- I worked with Arvind Kejriwal on the Jan Lokpal Bill. Indeed it has been a wonderful performance by him and the Aam Admi Party. What the AAP has managed to do is show that there is another way out of the existing political system that exists. Kejriwal has laid before the people the manner in which a democracy should function and he has shown that there is hope.
With regard to your question if he can checkmate Narendra Modi, well that is to be seen. It is one thing to speak when not in power it is a whole other ball game when you rule. When men are not in power they speak piously. The real test begins only when one rules and there is a tendency that people do tend to change after tasting power.
Ashwin Mahesh, leader Lok Satta and social technologist- I think it is very early to say what is possible. One thing is clear that the country is getting ready for purposeful politics. Purposeful politics and not power should be the primary motivation. The main reason why the AAP got votes is because the people beleived that they cared.
About Modi, well I have no interest in him. What we are trying to do is bring up a child and not compete.
R Vaidynathan, Professor Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore- Who is worried about the Aam Admi Party except those in Delhi. Yestreday was in Chennai, there an AAP celebration which had not more than 12 people. Even Anna Hazare didnt draw more than 1000 people for a fast outside Delhi. AAP won in Delhi because people were unhappy with other parties.
Kejriwal is just a flash in the pan. A poll by them had indicated that people will vote for Kejriwal in Delhi but for Modi as Prime Minister. It is one thing to govern on a local level and a whole other on the national scene.
(Story first published on rediff.com)