Delhi’s Dwarka Assembly seat is witnessing a sharp tussle ahead of the Assembly polls to be held on February 8. The latest twist comes in the form of suspension of Mahabal Mishra. The Congress has suspended the former Parliamentarian for “anti party activities” in context of the Delhi Assembly polls.
Important Announcement pic.twitter.com/GDvKP6kwEw
— INC Sandesh (@INCSandesh) January 31, 2020
Mahabal Mishra, a former MP from West Delhi, has been the Purvanchali face of Congress in Delhi for over a decade.
However, his son Vinay Kumar Mishra, who has also unsuccessfully contested the 2013 Assembly polls, switched sides and joined the AAP this time around. The AAP has fielded him from the Dwarka Assembly seat.
While the Congress has suspended Mahabal Mishra, the AAP too seems to have been troubled by the sharp turn of events in connection with the Dwarka Assembly seat.
The sitting Dwarka MLA, Adarsh Shastri, the grandson of the former Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri was denied an election ticket by the AAP. An infuriated Adarsh Shastri defected to the Congress, and has now been fielded by the Congress from the same Assembly seat.
Adarsh Shastri enjoyed significant popularity in his Assembly seat as an AAP MLA. He had won the 2015 Assembly polls in Delhi with a whopping 59.08 per cent votes.
It was expected that the Kejriwal led party would field the sitting legislator, Shastri from the Dwarka seat. However, not much needs to be said about how AAP ended up fielding a turncoat from the concerned Assembly seat.
However, Shastri made some rather damaging remarks about the AAP after he was denied an election ticket by the party. He accused Kejriwal of flouting all democratic norms and selling election tickets for the upcoming Assembly polls at the price of Rs. 10-20 crore.
The accusation obviously came as a blow for the AAP, at least in the Dwarka Assembly seat, insofar it strongly discredits the clean image of the Kejriwal led party that it has so carefully credited ever since its inception.
Shastri didn’t stop here, he further said, “When I left a high-paying job with Apple Inc to join the AAP I thought a honest man would herald clean politics. But my experiences in the five years have taught me otherwise.”
He also alleged “huge corruption” by AAP in the Municipal Corporation polls and went on to add that the Delhi Chief Minister, Kejriwal would be best remembered for spreading corrupt practices.
Shastri remained particularly disturbed for being replaced by an “outsider”, and even said, “I don’t have a problem if you (the AAP) do not give me a ticket. Give it to a party worker who has worked for the party.”
Tickets to “outsiders” and accusations of selling election tickets for hefty sums of money obviously doesn’t augur well for the AAP, which still claims to be the party with a difference. Meanwhile, a TFI source has revealed how sentiment has turned against the AAP in face of the recent developments.
The AAP was in the driving seat in the Dwarka Assembly constituency, with Shastri enjoying significant popularity as an AAP MLA. However, the manner in which the Kejriwal led party sprang a surprise by fielding a turncoat, instead of the sitting MLA has not gone down well with the people of Dwarka.
The Congress, on the other hand, is not in a position to lend winnability to any candidate, including Shastri, given its corrupt image and lack of leadership. And this is where the BJP, rather unexpectedly, comes into picture. The BJP candidate, Praduman Rajput had mustered 29.90 per cent votes in Dwarka Assembly during the 2015 Assembly polls, a rather discouraging vote share compared to Shastri’s 59.08 per cent votes.
Till very recently, Rajput was not even in the reckoning given Shastri’s towering popularity as an AAP legislator. But AAP’s decision to deny an election ticket to Adarsh Shastri, followed by the latter’s scathing remarks and serious allegations have suddenly created a negative sentiment against the AAP.
In a contest that is barely triangular, a weakened AAP directly benefits Praduman Rajput who suddenly appears to have become the front-runner in the Dwarka constituency. It seems that the Kejriwal led party’s decision to discard Shastri and allegations of irregularities in ticket distribution is going to hurt the AAP, and benefit the BJP substantially, at least in the Dwarka Assembly seat.