Having ruled the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for 15 consecutive years and despite knowing the system too well, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost the civic body polls to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — a battle, which many feel, could have been easily won in the wake of several videos showing the AAP in poor light with leaked videos of its minister Satyendar Jain getting massages while lodged in prison.
Many leaders believe that while the civic polls are no indication of the BJP’s future in the union territory, a majority of them agreed that the party cadre was demotivated and booth management collapsed on the day of polling. Some of them even said that many panna pramukhs or panch parmeshwars on booths did not perform their duty and no one went door-to-door distributing slips, let alone bring voters to polling booths.
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This close contest in Delhi might have serious repercussions for the Delhi BJP in the days to come. “All the issues that we faced while governing the MCD will be faced by the AAP as well. But now AAP councillors will be approached for civic works. The last connect with the people to get their works done is lost in many places,” said a senior party leader.
A look at the top reasons given by state leaders for the party’s loss in the MCD:
REASON 1: FAULTY TICKET DISTRIBUTION
While speaking to News18, some senior leaders stated poor ticket distribution as the prime reason for the close contest. Some said the ticket distribution was done without proper consultation with the members of parliament. “Taking three names from the MPs doesn’t mean they were consulted,” a senior party leader said.
REASON 2: NOT-SO-EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF PANCH PARMESHWAR CONCEPT
Some in the party mentioned that there was no one from the BJP to distribute the slips, with names of the voters and the booths they will vote from, in many areas. Rather, some in the party said the AAP cadre came to their houses to distribute the slips. While the party prides itself on its strong organisation and held Panch Parmeshwar Sammelan to boost the morale of the booth-level cadre, this election has exposed the ‘kagazi’ implementation of an otherwise brilliant concept.
#WATCH | Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami and BJP MP from East Delhi, Gautam Gambhir hold a roadshow in Mandawali, ahead of December 4 MCD polls in Delhi pic.twitter.com/R6HSxXl6Fs— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2022
REASON 3: DELHI NEEDS A LEADER, FEELS TOP STATE LEADERSHIP
Lack of a leader, who will be given the mandate to rejuvenate the Delhi unit by asking everyone to fall in line, is cited as another reason by a senior party leader. With so many power centres and groups active on every level, be it mandal, district or assembly or parliament, there was no one cohesive authority that could command loyalty from the cadre. “Names of the candidates were sought from a group of people. They gave their own names and when their names did not get approved, they got angry and stayed home or pretended to be working. This should have been looked into,” stated a senior party leader. “One of the MPs, who is in demand among Purvanchali voters, was supposed to campaign in other constituencies, but was asked not to go for the scheduled campaign after objection by another MP,” a source stated.
It was in the last leg that party put general secretary Sunil Bansal and national secretary Sunil Deodhar to monitor the elections. Many believe this made a lot of difference.
#Breaking | Visuals of #ArvindKejriwal leaving from his residence @nikhil_lakhwani live from Arvind Kejriwal's residence | @akankshaswarups #ElectionsWithNews18 #ResultsWithNews18 #MCDElections2022 #DelhiMCDPolls #AAP pic.twitter.com/RoWrfHSK1Q— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 7, 2022
WHAT THIS DEFEAT MEANS FOR BJP IN DELHI?
While the local body polls are no indication of how the party would fare in the Lok Sabha elections, losing municipal polls in Delhi may still become a matter of concern for the BJP top brass.
While the PM is looking at every state, where the BJP can compensate if it loses any Lok Sabha seat, especially where it has won almost all seats like Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana, there is a fear among party leaders that this victory of the AAP means the party will have to work on its cadre more if it wants to retain all seven seats.
“The workers need to be activated. Even if the votes are in the name of the PM, voters need to be reminded by our panna pramukhs to vote for the party,” stated the source.
#MCDElection results are out: Historic win for AAP, spirited fight by BJP What worked for AAP and where did BJP go wrong? @AmanKayamHai_ and @pragyakaushika discuss #AAP #BJP #Delhi #MCDElections #ResultsWithNews18 pic.twitter.com/Ywh233Lx9X
— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 7, 2022
There are a few others who are seeing a silver line.
“People will get to know the corrupt AAP and will be disillusioned soon. This would mean that we will have a fair chance at winning the next assembly polls,” said a senior party leader.
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