As electioneering for the municipal corporation of Delhi polls drew to a close, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders said they sorely missed having Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath as a star campaigner.
Sources in the party said they tried hard to get time from the UP CM as he is a crowd-puller and has the ability to swing votes but couldn’t due to his prior commitments to Gujarat and bypolls in Uttar Pradesh.
“Had Yogi ji campaigned, we wouldn’t have worried much about getting other popular leaders who too were busy due to Gujarat polls. His popularity is such that wherever he goes, our votes increase," said a senior functionary.
Another demand that the party partially fulfilled was of star, celebrity MPs like Ravi Kishan and Nirahua, along with Manoj Tiwari.
While Tiwari was campaigning in Gujarat and Delhi, Kishan and Nirahua were roped in during the last two days of canvassing for the MCD polls.
“These MPs are a huge craze among the migrant population from Bihar and UP. What they say and tell voters makes an impact on them," stated a senior party leader.
The party had roped in union ministers like Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Anurag Thakur, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ashwini Vaishnav, Kiren Rijiju, and Hardeep Singh Puri, to name a few. Chief ministers like Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Pushkar Singh Dhami, and Jai Ram Thakur, and UP deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya campaigned for BJP’s corporation candidates.
According to party sources, it has been able to penetrate jhuggi (slum) voters, considered the vote bank of AAP.
The flats that have been constructed for Bhoomiheen Camp jhuggi residents are a big draw as the party is taking slum dwellers to showcase those apartments.
“The aspiration of living a dignified life is big among them. We are estimating that there is growing acceptability for us in them now. We are estimating a rise in 20 per cent vote share compared to previous elections in jhuggis," added a source who believes that the BJP is giving a tough fight to the Aam Aadmi Party.
Another issue that has apparently worked in favour of the saffron party is the AAP government making liquor more readily available.
“Women in jhuggis and in lower-income houses are angry with liquor being made so cheap in Delhi. Our protest against liquor too has made an impact among women voters," stated a leader.
Many in the party believe that leaked videos of jail minister Satyendar Jain getting massages in the prison too have dented AAP’s image. “The corruption allegations on AAP are sticking this time. People no longer think that AAP is clean," said a source.
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