Leadership failed to make Dalits, Sikhs vote for BJP: Cadre on Delhi drubbing
Unsuccessful candidates unanimously cited delay in releasing of Sankalp Patra, poor campaigning schedule, and non-cooperation of municipal councillors as primary reasons.
NEW DELHI: A majority of BJP leaders, who lost in the February 8 election, blamed their leadership’s inability to tap into schedule caste and Sikh votes and ‘poor election management’ for the drubbing of the saffron party.
In a review meeting with Delhi BJP in-charge Shyam Jaju, its chief Manoj Tiwari, and general secretary (organisation) Siddarthan and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, the election in-charge of Delhi BJP, on Friday, at least 55 party candidates participated to convey their observations and feedback to the seniors.
Seven candidates didn’t attend the meet and they could get show-cause notice. According to the BJP leaders, unsuccessful candidates unanimously cited delay in releasing of Sankalp Patra (manifesto), poor campaigning schedule, and non-cooperation of municipal councillors as primary reasons for the defeat in the poll. “A common complaint was that the leadership took too long to set the narrative for the elections. Moreover, the manifesto was released in the eleventh hour that was also without any counter to the Aam Aadmi Party’s free schemes including power and water.
Several said they had kept sending requests for specific star campaigners, which were not responded by leaders in the central office,” said a party functionary.
The BJP won eight seats in 70-member House, up from three in 2015. “We don’t get Muslim votes but the party failed miserably to woo Dalits and Sikhs despite polarisation. Both fractions of Akali Dal had pledged to support BJP but none of our leaders went to meet them. In the end, a majority of Sikhs voted for AAP,” said the functionary.
BJP councillors also came for criticism as many candidates accused them of ensuring their defeat in respective wards. Meanwhile, local leaders are divided over the exercise being carried out by the state leadership, with a section terming it as a “sham”.
“We were asked not to blame individuals openly and directed to give feedback in writing. About 25 of us gave written submissions. The meeting continued for more than two hours but Javadekarji left the meeting in between,” said a BJP leader, requesting anonymity.