NEW DELHI: Aiming to repeat the Amethi experiment, the BJP’s top brass is brainstorming to finalise a candidate who can pin down CM Arvind Kejriwal in his home turf.
BJP chief Amit Shah, who is closely monitoring the poll strategy, is likely to spring a surprise on Kejriwal. "The BJP has almost finalised all the candidates for Delhi and the final list is with the party chief. New Delhi constituency is a suspense, with only Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP chief, and organisational secretary BL Santosh dealing with the candidate selection for the high-profile constituency," said a top BJP functionary.
The BJP leaders stressed that the strategy is clear that the candidate will be someone who will make Kejriwal sweat out in electioneering and not allow him to canvas in other constituencies. “We will do in New Delhi seat what we did in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency."
In 2014, BJP’s Smriti Irani had brought down the victory margin of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. Four years on, Rahul contested from two Lok Sabha seats, but lost to Irani in his pocket borough.
Buzz is that a high-profile candidate can also help the BJP to set the narrative for the elections in Delhi where it is out of power since 1998. "Even if the surprise candidate loses the elections, he or she will be accommodated in the Rajya Sabha elections. The BJP will not be fielding any of the existing Lok Sabha MPs in the elections," a source said.
New Delhi has a fair number of government employees as voters. Besides government employees, traders are in a large number in the prestigious constituency. Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit represented the seat before Kejriwal wrested it from her in 2013.
The BJP claims that though it was not seen in the reckoning in the previous elections, the party is set for a strong comeback as per its internal assessments. "We’re, indeed, in contest in Delhi. It will be erroneous to assume the elections will be one-sided," the BJP functionary said.