Ground report: Will Delhi’s autowallas dump their hero Arvind Kejriwal?



Delhi elections 2019: When Arvind Kejriwal was taking baby steps in politics in 2012, Delhis auto-rickshaw drivers formed the bulwark of his fledgling support base. Messages taunting his political rivals Sheila Dixit and BJP leaders Vijender Gupta and Kiran Bedi featured prominently on the back of most autos in the national capital. To his credit, Kejriwal launched a successful political campaign that catapulted him to the chief minister-ship of Delhi. Seven years later, the Delhi chief minister is facing discontent among this once loyal voter base. The sense of disenchantment is hard to miss. The enthusiasm for Aam Admi Party is gone now, though some autowallas are still not ready to ditch their hero. The motley crowd of apolitical auto drivers, who were drawn to the anti-corruption crusader because they felt that he could change Indias corrupt political system, is in two minds now. An auto-rickshaw driver in his mid-thirties in Connaught Place area of New Delhi said he will vote for BJP in this Lok Sabha election. He admitted voting for Aam Aadmi Party in 2015 assembly elections when the party won 67 of total 70 assembly seats in national capital. READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE: AAP can defeat BJP, Congress in Delhi; Raghav Chaddha says party Another auto-rickshaw driver in the same area said that he will vote for Aam Aadmi Party regardless of election outcome. The driver, who was a native of Delhi, also admitted that he was not a BJP supporter and had never voted for the party. READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE: National issues will decide election outcome in Delhi, says union minister Vijay Goel A third auto-rickshaw driver in Delhis ITO area turned out to be a BJP supporter. This auto-rickshaw driver too was in his mid-thirties, he identified himself as a member of OBC community from Jaunpur district in Uttar Pradesh. Nobody can turn Delhi into London in five years, May be all is still not lost for Kejriwal. There may still be a large number of supporters among auto drivers who may be beneficiaries of his governments reforms in education and healthcare, but the blind faith that helped him sweep the 2015 elections is unlikely to resurface. READ ALSO: BJP is facing tough battle, Congress is winning all 7 seats in Delhi, says Ajay Maken