After a complete rout in Delhi, BJP candidates who had won in the last three to four elections, came out in the open on Wednesday to blame the party leadership for the “shocking performance” of the party.
Kulwant Rana, the former four-time MLA from Rithala, said the decision to name Kiran Bedi as the chief ministerial candidate had sealed the fate of the party.
“The party should not have declared Bedi as the CM candidate. When you declare a CM candidate, every leader in Delhi indulges in anti-party activities. Sab harwane ki koshish karte hain. BJP netaon mein na shamta hai, na shahansheelta na party ke liye pyaar.. (Everyone works to ensure that the candidate loses. Leaders have no calibre, no patience and no love for the party). Party president Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi have worked hard for the unit but the Delhi leadership dented our chances,” Rana claimed.
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Rana alleged that the list of Panna pramukhs were leaked to the AAP and top brass knew of it. “I demand that we find out who leaked the list. I will take this matter to the leadership,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Karawal Nagar MLA Mohan Singh Bisht pinned the blame for the loss on a weak leadership, claiming that they did not cooperate with the candidates in the capital.
“Several people within the party were against candidates. Voters did not look at the development we had done. In my area, a Kiran Bedi show was turned into a flop show. There were no star campaigner assigned to my area. It was completely neglected by the leadership,” Bisht said.
Candidate Rajeev Babbar believes that negative campaigning harmed the party the most. Babbar said sympathy votes went to CM-designate Arvind Kejriwal after the BJP started campaigning against him.
Another former MLA said Modi’s attack on Kejriwal gave the latter undue publicity. “When Modi called Kejriwal a Naxalite, people thought the whole Cabinet, including the PM, was attacking him. It is this sympathy that made him win,” the candidate said.
For Sahab Singh Chauhan, the former MLA from Ghonda, the long gap between the Parliamentary and Assembly elections caused the most damage to the BJP.
“If we had gone to elections soon after the Lok Sabha polls, we would have won. The decision to go to polls late was wrong,” he said.