When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. But Kejriwal does a U-turn.
Kejriwal’s AAP has been trying its level best to gain a foothold in at least two more states beyond Delhi: Punjab and Goa. For some time, it seemed the party had gained good traction in both states, with surveys showing AAP as a massive gainer in Punjab, and also enjoying decent support in Goa.
But of late, the tables seem to have turned, at least if surveys are to be believed. An India-Today Axis poll conducted recently showed that Congress had the lead in Punjab, while a poll by Lokniti-CSDS-ABP showed BJP ahead. The common thread in both the polls was AAP, which was once touted by some polls to win almost 100 seats out of 117, was now nowhere near the finish line.
Even in Goa, a mid-year poll by a little known survey agency gave AAP 35% vote share and 14 seats out of 40. AAP Goa had proceeded to put up lakhs of posters advertising this survey. But recent polls by India-Today Axis and other local Goan media houses peg AAP’s influence to earn them a maximum of 4 seats, which could even go down to one seat.
Such lacklustre performance in surveys prompted Kejriwal to slam media houses and such agencies. In a sparsely attended election meeting in Goa, Kejriwal asked AAP voters in Goa not to trust pre-poll surveys on TV news channels:
Yesterday, I was watching a TV channel which said, in Goa, we will win two seats, which means how many seats will we really get? 28. Tell your friends and neighbours not to trust TV channels. They show lies and ‘bakwas’ (nonsense)
Kejriwal might have forgotten, but this is a massive U-turn from the AAP supremo. Kejriwal has been a big fan of such “lies and bakwas” by media houses. When the surveys were in favour of AAP, Kejriwal had enthusiastically shared and quoted the same on social media:
@PritishNandy Sir. According to a recent survey, 46% ppl in Del want AAP Govt against 29% BJP n 25% Cong. AAP is forming next govt in Del
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 17, 2013
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 26, 2014
Latest survey by Prudent n Kautilya in Goa. Aap largest party in Goa as of today. https://t.co/b013FgnZfi
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 13, 2016
U must read this. BJP losing Goa as per opinion poll. AAP leading https://t.co/1iNEE3ONqX
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 11, 2016
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 9, 2016
Latest Total Tv opinion poll-
AAP- 48%, BJP- 40%, Cong- 7.5% pic.twitter.com/52padLZRsf
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 23, 2014
Kejriwal’s blow-hot-blow-cold relationship with media is well-known. Even before this, Kejriwal has slammed opinion polls when they have not been in his favour. While AAP and Kejriwal have benefited largely from media’s disproportionate coverage of AAP, Kejriwal has been ready to slam mediapersons whenever they speak against him.
His latest U-turn on the issue of opinion polls and surveys shows that Kejriwal can take practically any position, irrespective of his past choices in order to save his face. In remains to be seen if Kejriwal makes yet another U-turn if some new survey comes which shows AAP ahead in Punjab or Goa.