The capital of the world’s largest democracy, which has been under president’s rule for the best part of a year, is set for a fresh election.
There’s no firm date yet for the high-stakes Delhi polls, but for one man the stakes are higher than for most.
Arvind Kejriwal, former chief minister and anti-corruption activist, has what some analysts describe as one last chance to unite his fractious, young party and revive his own flagging political fortunes.
Mr. Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party, which stormed Delhi’s political scene last year with its anti-graft slogans and innovative grass-roots campaign, has struggled to remain relevant since national elections in May, in which it won just four out of 543 parliamentary seats.
In part, analysts suggest, this is because his common man calling card and campaign for a corruption-free India have been appropriated by the leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leaving the AAP headman little space to distinguish himself.
Despite their wide economic and ideological differences, Mr. Modi does appear to have encroached on Mr. Kejriwal’s political ground in recent months.
Let’s look at the evidence.
First, the broom. Mr. Kejriwal’s party made the tool of India’s army of sweepers a weapon in his political arsenal. As AAP’s symbol, the broom was a visual metaphor of the party’s aim to clean up politics in India.
Mr. Modi has taken the metaphor and made it literal. With a broom in hand last month, he promised to literally clean up India. Everyone from Bollywood stars to opposition politicians has taken up brooms to join him in the sanitation program.