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Changing Scenario

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Early exit polls had indicated an easy win for the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly elections. However, after the prolonged Shaheen Bagh protest, more recent polls indicate a rising graph for the BJP. This is an irony, as it goes against the obvious intent of those instigating and supporting the protest, which is to undermine the moral authority of the Union Government, particularly at the international level. There is a growing resentment among Delhi residents, particularly in the vicinity of Shaheen Bagh, owing to the enormous inconvenience being caused to them. The recordings of speakers involved in the ongoing anti-CAA protests on social media have also polarised voters.

Both sides to the CAA disagreement have hardened their stands, obviously with electoral gains in mind. The matter is being taken forward in the ongoing session of Parliament. This obviously means there is no likely resolution of the issue till such time the Delhi elections are out. Parties will decide their future strategy based on the outcome. If the AAP seat count goes down substantially, it will force a rethink on the issue among those who believe that bringing the Muslim community in direct confrontation with the State is a productive strategy. (Unless, of course, there is an even more nefarious design in play.) Already, not unlike Rahul Gandhi, earlier, Delhi CM Kejriwal is attempting at this late hour to establish his Hindu credentials, but is it too late? A negative trend in exit polls is usually hard to fight back. The CM will be hoping it does not accelerate further.

Considering that the present AAP domination in the state assembly is not healthy for democracy, nor is it representative enough of political opinion, a more even distribution of seats among the contending parties is anyway desirable. While Kejriwal toned down his dharna style politics in the run up to the elections, particularly after the convincing victory of the BJP in the General Election, there is no guarantee he will not return to it if he retains power. It would be better, therefore, that he is kept busy playing politics in the confines of the Assembly. The big question, of course, is what do the Delhi voters want?