After 7-0 win, will BJP now project 'popular' CM face for 2025 Delhi Assembly polls?

Sahib Singh Verma was the last prominent BJP face, who went on to become the chief minister of the NCT of Delhi way back in 1996.
Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva with the party's victorious candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.
Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva with the party's victorious candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.Photo | EPS

NEW DELHI: Once again, the BJP has swept the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in the national capital by a comfortable margin.

Even as the six new parliamentarians and the third-time victor Manoj Tiwari prepare themselves to voice the concerns of city residents in the House of the People, a parallel opportunity for political gain emerges upon the horizon– the road to the office of the Delhi Chief Minister.

The BJP, which has retained all seven city seats, despite brute dominance in the Centre for the past 10 years, has been unable to form a government in the capital or even identify and subsequently project a popular face for the CM’s seat for more than 25 years now.

Sahib Singh Verma was the last prominent BJP face, who went on to become the chief minister of the NCT of Delhi way back in 1996. He served as the CM for two-and-a-half years before an unprecedented onion price crisis ousted Verma from the post, to be replaced by Sushma Swaraj.

Swaraj served as the city chief minister for 52 days before the assembly elections were announced. And, since December 3, 1998, the BJP has remained unsuccessful to form a government in Delhi.

The saffron party experimented with multiple big names like Swaraj, Dr Harsh Vardhan in 2013, Kiran Bedi in 2015 and ultimately Manoj Tiwari in 2019 but all failed to control the Aam Aadmi Party wave, which has twice formed the city government with landslide victories.

However, with BJP retaining their sway over the seven city seats for the third straight general election, and the Delhi Assembly polls not too far away, (expected to be held in February, 2025) one of the winners of the Lok Sabha polls may emerge as the party’s CM face.

“Certainly, today’s victory will have a resonating impact in the 2025 Delhi Assembly elections which are not too far away. We are almost sure that we might not just improve our tally, but go on to form the government,” a saffron party member told this newspaper.

Delhi has a 70-member legislative assembly. In 2020, the AAP won 62 seats while BJP had to settle with eight. The Congress had drawn a blank.With Congress improving its count in the general elections, an AAP-Congress alliance, and the resounding success of BJP in the Delhi seats – the 2025 Assembly elections is poised for a keen contest.

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