The Centre’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has the BJP Delhi unit worried. With elections for municipal corporations just a few months away, the state unit is hard at work trying to woo its core support base in the capital — traders and businessmen.
Party sources admitted that the AAP had managed to sway a chunk of this vote base in its favour during the 2015 assembly elections. The Delhi BJP machinery had swung into action three days after the Centre announced demonitisation. The party called an urgent meeting of its mandals to prepare for any fallout and brace for opposition attacks.
“The traders community has been hit hard and we are hoping that the matter regarding currency liquidity eases soon. Otherwise it could impact us in the civic agency polls,” a senior BJP leader said. The BJP won consecutive municipal elections in Delhi, first in 2007 and then in 2012 after the then Congress CM Sheila Dikshit trifurcated the municipal corporation.
A senior party leader said, “Not many oppose demonetisation, but no one likes losing money either. We called the trade wing and reasoned with them.”
Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay said, “I believe this move is bigger than vote bank politics. It is in the nation’s interest — and no interest is bigger than that. People will realise its benefits in due course of time.”
Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders associations (CAIT), said they had shared the concerns of traders with the BJP.
“It is a great move for the nation and gives a chance for small businesses to flourish by killing monopoly of big houses. But it is true that due to cash crunch, our businesses are hit by 75 per cent. All we now want is an assurance that we will get subsidy in tax charged by banks on digital payments,” he said.