NEW DELHI: No counter to existing welfare schemes including subsidy on power and water, free bus rides, personal remarks against CM Arvind Kejriwal, and ‘internal sabotage’ crushed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s dream to return to power in the national capital after 21 years.
Following its dismal performance, senior Delhi BJP leaders on Tuesday also admitted that Centre’s decision to grant ownership right in unauthorised colonies and redevelopment of slum clusters hadn’t clicked with the voters living in those settlements.
“Perhaps, the people were hoping for regularisation of their houses in illegal colonies simply without any formalities and fees,” said a BJP functionary.
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Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari at the beginning of the elections had promised ‘five times’ more relief than the total subsidies being given by AAP government, however, party’s Sankalp Patra (manifesto) failed to translate those promises on paper. He further said that ‘terrorist’ jibe against Kejriwal had also backfired.
“Personal attacks never yield results. In last elections, Kejriwal’s caste and gotra (clan) was asked,” the party functionary added.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is also in charge of the local unit for the polls, had called Kejriwal a terrorist, adding that there is ‘plenty of proof’ to establish the same.
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The party leaders also claimed that the involvement of national leaders in an exhaustive campaign and internal sabotage by local leaders and councilors had also dampened BJP’s prospects.
“Local senior leaders were neglected in the campaign. We have videos in which they were found urging people to vote for AAP. With the entry of union ministers and MPs from other states, they felt ignored,” said an office-bearer of Delhi BJP, who was closely associated with the polling planning.
“The senior leadership also failed to acknowledge its traditional sympathizers — Baniya and Punjabi votes— which worked against the party. Purvanchalis and Dalit leaders were given undue promotion,” said a Delhi BJP leader.