NEW DELHI: As the buzz around Manoj Tiwari offering to step down in the wake of the Assembly poll debacle grew on Wednesday, the Delhi BJP chief claimed that he had neither asked to be relieved of charge and nor was he asked to do so.
However, party leaders privy to the development, said that Tiwari did offer to tender his resignation but was asked to stay on till a review of the causes leading to the defeat is completed.
Despite bringing out its poster boys to canvas for candidates and holding a raft of meetings and rallies, signalling its desperation to return to the hustings in Delhi, the BJP could only win 8 seats, a slight improvement from its 2015 tally of 3.
A party functionary said, "Taking moral responsibility for our poor performance, Tiwari met our senior leadership and expressed his willingness to step down. However, he was asked to carry on for now."
Speaking to this newspaper, Tiwari denied that he offered to quit. Amid the inquest into the drubbing at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a section of BJP leaders put the blame on some of their seniors, saying they acted as a ‘red barrier’, thereby ensuring that the ground reports don’t reach the central leadership.
“Many in Delhi BJP were of opinion that the party should add subsidised power in its manifesto. There was also a suggestion that the BJP should propose free electricity, upto 250 units of consumption. However, we were also aware that such a scheme might not be sustainable for five years. However, a senior leader objected to the proposal and it clearly cost us," another BJP leader said.
Another leader said that the in-charge appointed by the central leadership to manage the electioneering took all decisions by himself, ignoring the local leadership.