Amit Shah to lead BJP charge in Delhi too
By Rahul Vaishnavi
New Delhi, Miffed with infighting and lack of coordination among state leaders that may harm the party’s prospects in the upcoming Delhi assembly polls, BJP president Amit Shah has decided to take charge of the election machinery in the capital from Dec 25, a top source said.
According to a senior party leader who is in the know of the development, Shah is currently occupied with the polls in Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir but once the results are out Tuesday, he will shift focus to Delhi and dedicate at least two months to the city before the assembly election are held, likely in February 2015.
“The Delhi BJP needs direction and guidance from a single authority. At present, everyone is acting like he is the captain of the ship which is resulting in utter confusion,” the source told IANS.
The source informed that owing to the threat from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shah started keeping an eye on the political developments in Delhi – where the BJP has remained out of power for the last 15 years – since he became the party president in July.
(The December 2013 polls threw up a hung 70-member house, with the BJP winning 31 seats, the AAP 28 and the Congress eight, with three seats going to other parties and independents. The AAP formed a government that lasted 49 days, necessitating fresh polls)
“He (Shah) knows that Delhi is not like other states where the contest is between BJP and Congress. The general anti-Congress mood prevailing across the nation has helped BJP but in Delhi, it’s the AAP that is the main opponent of the BJP,” the source added.
“Therefore, the party needs to put in much more effort but Shah knows that the party is struggling with infighting and poor coordination,” said the leader.
Though, such allegations have been leveled against the party earlier as well, this time the cracks are showing.
A couple of weeks back a party leader, in charge of an event, openly chided a party spokesperson for talking to the media about the preparations.
He was unhappy with the spokesperson hogging the limelight and instead wanted the media to give him footage.
Furthermore, in a meeting held between Shah and the Delhi BJP leaders and office bearers in November, it was decided that all the party parliamentarians would hold 2,700 public meetings across the city.
However, a month later, that figure has been reduced to around 1,400, the source said.
“The state unit has failed in successfully organizing these meetings and managing to gather enough crowds. Their management has been sloppy and hence the MP’s lost interest,” said the source.
Furthermore, sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan too has been reduced to mere photo opportunities by some which has further added to the woes of the Delhi BJP’s leadership.
Though, Shah is a tough taskmaster and has set a 60-seat goal in Delhi and hence, he is all set to take charge of Delhi after Dec 25, another source told IANS.
According to party leaders, Shah believes in working at the ground level and has directed the Delhi leaders, at a meeting Thursday, to do the same. Shah had earlier met the leaders in November.
The source further said that a major reshuffle in the Delhi BJP is in the offing once the election is over.
“A new team is likely to be formed for Delhi after the polls,” the source said.