DEHRADUN: The BJP is closely watching every move made by the Aam Admi Party in Uttarakhand ahead of next year’s Assembly elections in the state. A three-member team of BJP leaders led by Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi is camping in the state ruled by the party.
Among their tasks is to assess the impact of the AAP’s political entry into the state so that the BJP can make necessary adjustments. Joshi is joined by BJP M P Locket Chatterjee and party spokesperson R P Singh. The three leaders are in charge of preparing the saffron camp to face the next year’s elections.
The ruling BJP’s principal concern will be to fend off the challenge from former chief minister and senior Congress leader Harish Rawat, who enjoys popular support across the state both in the hills and the plains. While the Congress will have a strong leader and a CM face in Rawat, the BJP is on the back foot after frequently changing chief ministers.
Amid this, Kejriwal’s entry has only added to the concerns.
“The BJP will have to watch out for the AAP. The Kejriwal-led outfit will most likely field disgruntled leaders from both BJP and Congress. If such leaders enjoy the mass support, then they will damage the prospects of both the Congress and the BJP,” said a senior BJP functionary.
The three-member team of election in-charges will work to ensure that there is unity within the ranks of BJP going forward. The saffron outfit in Uttarakhand has for years been riddled with factionalism.
However, some in the BJP hopes, AAP will do more damage to the Congress than to their party.
“The AAP will cut into the anti-incumbency votes only, which will mean that the Kejriwal led party will damage the Congress, which in turn will be an advantage for us,” said Dushyant Gautam, the BJP national general secretary and the state in-charge of the saffron outfit.