NEW DELHI: To tide over the differences and dissent among the state BJP leaders after Kiran Bedi was projected as the Chief Ministerial face, the party top brass tweaked their strategy for the Assembly polls. The saffron party would rely on its organisational strength to reach out to the voters on one side, while launching an all-out attack on AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on the home stretch.
BJP president Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have taken control over the ‘disorganised party affairs’ from local leaders and have marshalled 120 MPs, including a number of Union Ministers and around 280 key RSS workers to monitor the campaign in all the 70 constituencies across the national capital.
In a meeting of senior leaders chaired by Shah, the party came out with two key decisions. The BJP leaders would pose five questions to Kejriwal daily till the campaign ends and the party would not come out with a manifesto. Instead, it will unveil a Vision Document.
The 20 Union Ministers and 120 MPs will address around 250 rallies across the capital. Senior leaders have been made incharge of constituencies, with each of the 14 Union Ministers being given the overall charge of five constituencies. Another 1.24 lakh panna prabharis have been entrusted with the task of reaching out to individual voters at least three times before the February 7 polls.
Following the differences within the state BJP over the preparation of the manifesto, the party decided to do away it. In January, the party had announced a list of committees which will oversee the election preparation. Union Science and Technology Minister Harshvardhan was given the responsibility to head the manifesto committee to prepare the manifesto along with V K Malhotra. Vardhan, Malhotra and other party members approached Bedi for preparation of draft manifesto. “Vardhan tried to contact Bedi four times, but she was unavailable,” said a party insider.
In the meantime, Bedi launched her Vision Document through Twitter on Wednesday without intimating state BJP chief Satish Upadhyay or Vardhan. This led to resentment within the state party leaders as they not kept in the picture. On Thursday morning, Upadhyay had said, “We will come out with the manifesto soon. The BJP’s vision is clear for Delhi and all the senior leaders have made their vision clear. The party main focus is good governance.”
But during the afternoon hours, as a face-saver, the party announced that it would not come out with a manifesto for the Assembly polls and instead would unveil a Vision Document.
“We will not release the party’s manifesto for the Delhi Assembly elections this time. Instead, we will come out with a Vision Document. The party has set a target to win the upcoming polls,” Union minister Ananth Kumar said.
Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Cabinet colleague Nirmala Sitharaman held a news conference and launched a scathing attack on Kejriwal.