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Questions for 2020: BJP regains Delhi, keeps Bihar?

AAP is betting big on its track record on improving government education, hospitals and mohalla clinics, besides freebies like free bus rides for women, free WiFi, ‘almost free’ water for the poor and lower electricity charges.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Dec 30, 2019, 09.43 AM IST
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BJP most likely will walk the extra mile to keep Kumar in the NDA tent.
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Local issues in Delhi, caste duels in Bihar.

A much bruised BJP will count on expanding its existing 30% vote share in Delhi to upstage Arvind Kejriwal in 2020’s first election. It will look to breach AAP’s ‘poor votebank’ through initiatives like legalising unauthorised colonies. AAP’s challenge would be to keep the polls focused on local issues and not turn it into a Modi vs Kejriwal duel like in the Lok Sabha polls where it was wiped out.

AAP is betting big on its track record on improving government education, hospitals and mohalla clinics, besides freebies like free bus rides for women, free WiFi, ‘almost free’ water for the poor and lower electricity charges.

But Delhi traditionally decides in the last week before polls, So, Kejriwal has his task cut out to reframe the CAA issue as anti-poor, not anti-Muslim, if he wants his narrative to grip the poll cycle.

In Bihar, by 2020-end, Nitish Kumar would be seeking a fourth term. Having lost crucial allies, and with it, power in key states like Maharashtra and Jharkhand, BJP most likely will walk the extra mile to keep Kumar in the NDA tent. That may mean soft-pedalling on issues like NRC implementation.

The Opposition, namely Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Congress, will be looking to carry the momentum from their victory in neighbouring Jharkhand. Several sub-regional caste-based entities and rebels may be key in this fight likely to be billed around Nitish Kumar and the Lalu Yadav dynasty. Its result will also be an indicator, not necessarily the final or the only word, on how 2020 would have gone for Modi, the PM.

This story is part of the '20 Questions for 2020' package.

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