Friday, February 6, 2015

The Lone Warrior

Fact: the Congress is finished in Delhi and will be lucky to even halve their performance from the 2013 Assembly Elections. Everybody knows this and the party itself seems to know this. As an analysis in +Swarajya rightly pointed out, the party has gone from being a national party to a sub-regional one, winning very stretched out votes among a very small category of voters. Therefore, it makes sense for it to concentrate on one or two contests where it has a slight chance of winning.

And that's what Ajay Maken has done, although he has tried to make it look like a pan-Delhi campaign. The lone warrior of the Congress this election season, he has been virtually the only person encouraging Congress workers to keep campaigning. He has been the butt of all jokes in the social media of course, for claiming that the Congress will form a government in Delhi without anybody's support, but the fact is that he has been the only Congress leader to encourage the workers with such (implausible) statements. That is, after all, how elections are won - through enthusiastic party workers.

For all his hopes though, he doesn't seem to be very safe in his own constituency, quite unlike his opponents, BJP's Kiran Bedi and AAP's Arvind Kejriwal. It would be difficult for him to win his own seat, leave alone lead a campaign for others to win. But he has clearly set himself up as a good leader (he did a commendable job in the Union Sports Ministry under the UPA) and he is definitely looking at a bright future for himself, though not necessarily with the Congress. 

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