NEW DELHI: BJP leaders held a series of marathon meetings on Friday and cited organisational "shortcomings" and "inadequacies" of campaigning as reasons behind the party's poor performance in the Delhi Assembly polls.
The meetings were attended by Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, national general secretaries Arun Singh and Anil Jain and Delhi unit organisation secretary Siddharthan among others.
Sources pointed out that according to initial feedback received during the meetings, the party did not properly handle issues such as the AAP government's announcement of freebies and the anti-citizenship law protest at Shaheen Bagh.
"The top leaders raised the issue of anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh vociferously during the election campaign. But, statements and actions of some leaders, terming Arvind Kejriwal a terrorist, and slogans like 'shoot the traitors' did not go down well with the people. This sentiment was expressed in the meetings," said one of the participant.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on Thursday disapproved of statements like 'goli maro' and 'Indo-Pak match' by a few BJP leaders during the Delhi assembly poll campaign and said these remarks may have been one of the possible reasons for the party's defeat.
Some leaders also pointed out that the BJP did not have a proper strategy in place to tackle AAP's poll plank of providing free power, water supply and rides to women in public buses, said a party leader.
"A number of issues were raised by party leaders during these meetings pointing towards organisational and election campaign-related shortcomings and inadequacies," he said.
Assembly segment 'Vistaraks', in charges and conveners participated in the meetings.
"There were plans of introducing a package of subsidised services in water and power supply, health, education and transport facilities for economically weaker sections but the idea was shot down and it could not be included into party's poll manifesto," said a 'Vistarak'.
Complaints regarding "unavailability" of workers on the ground, candidate selection, campaign overcrowding by star campaigners were other issues raised during the meetings, party leaders said.
"It was noted that not only candidates were announced late, giving them a very short period for campaigning, their door-to-door visits were also hampered as a number of meetings were held by star campaigners during the limited days available," sources said.
The BJP campaigners, including Shah and BJP president JP Nadda, Union ministers, chief ministers of party-ruled states, hundreds of MPs, national office bearers and other leaders, participated in more than 6,500 election related events, including public meetings and roadshows.
The review meetings will continue on Saturday, in which candidates of the assembly polls, municipal councilors and central incharges will give their feedback.
Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said the review exercise will be completed in the next 3-4 days and a report will be submitted to the national leadership.
On Thursday, Tiwari met party president J P Nadda and general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh for more than two hours at the party headquarters here to discuss the assembly election outcome.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party, led by Arvind Kejriwal, won 62 of the 70 assembly seats in Delhi, while the BJP bagged the remaining eight seats.
The Congress, which had governed the national capital for 15 years before the AAP, failed to win a single seat.