Contest between development and communalism

The Delhi assembly election, which will take place on 8 February, is a closely contested three-dimensional political battle. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister, has much at stake in the Delhi assembly election for this is the only place where it is in power. The stakes are high for the BJP as it has failed to make a comeback in Delhi since 1998. The Congress, which formed three consecutive governments in Delhi under late Sheila Dikshit, can practically claim victory if it dampens the BJP’s chances of a return to power in Delhi. So far the contest looks to be between the BJP and the AAP. While the saffron party has unleashed a communally loaded campaign, the AAP is selling development agenda.
The Delhi election is crucial, considering the fact that it is a battle between development and communal politics. If the BJP, which has launched a vitriolic communal campaign, manages to win, it will be further emboldened. It may take it to another level in the West Bengal and Bihar elections. The kind of communally loaded campaign being done by the BJP in Delhi has crossed all limit of decency. The Election Commission had to ban some of their leaders from campaigning and some were served notices. The AAP, which is pitching the development agenda under Kejriwal, has so far managed to run a positive campaign. If they pull off a victory then perhaps other parties will also be inspired to run campaigns on the development agenda. The whole nation will be waiting for 11 February, when the result will be declared.