NEW DELHI:After the BJP’s Delhi poll debacle it’s time for some stocktaking. The RSS mouthpieces-- Organiser and Panchjanya-- have suggested that the BJP should do some soul-searching to find out the reasons for the loss.
The latest edition of the Sangh publications have highlighted AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s victory on its cover saying his victory has raised a lot of expectations, which he may find difficult to fulfil.
The Organiser said the BJP’s move to attack Kejriwal, announce candidates at the last minute, including Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi, who was “parachuted” into the campaign without enough media training had harmed the saffron party’s prospects.
It also said Bedi’s entry conveyed the message that the party’s senior Delhi leaders could not hold ground against Kejriwal.
Hitesh Shankar, editor of Panchjanya, in his article said the BJP should do some self-introspection. “What else does the BJP has apart from the dedication of its cadre?” the write-up said.
Prafulla Ketkar, editor of Organiser, cautions the Centre against the effect of Kejriwal’s economics. “The fear is that, with Kejriwal pushing for his freebies agenda and resorting to confrontationist politics, all other parties will follow suit and replicate the model... By creating pressure such forces in turn may force the Centre to go in for populist measures. If it happens, it will be detrimental to the government’s development agenda and larger national interest.”
The BJP may be still searching for the actual reasons behind the loss. However, the Organiser provides some uncomfortable answers.
“During the election campaign, the BJP did not sell dreams like it had done in the Parliamentary elections and it remained on defensive even at the start when Kejriwal did not draw much attention. By remaining on the defensive mode, it parachuted Bedi to counter Kejriwal which sent out the message that the BJP with its own veteran leaders had accepted defeat against Kejriwal.”
“...Bedi, it seemed, was not trained politically, though, media is at least powerful enough to shape the minds of the people in Delhi. In the media, the BJP lost to Kejriwal before the elections, but the party did not make course correction.”
Raising the case of veteran state leaders, the Sangh mouthpiece said, “During Parliamentary election rallies in Delhi,Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that he had three ‘Vijays’ in Delhi-- Vijay Goel, Vijendra Gupta and Vijay Kumar Malhotra.
“The three Vijays along with Dr Harshvardhan were upset at being upstaged and they command huge respect among the party’s Delhi cadre. It now seems that the BJP paid the price.”
The late announcement of candidates caused more damage. “In 2013, the party announced Vardhan as Chief Ministerial candidate closer to election.”
“In the ticket distribution (for this year’s Assembly polls) also the BJP announced candidates only in January, though the AAP had finalised all its candidates much before the election schedule was announced,” the Organiser said.