Rattled by the dissent in a section of the Delhi unit over the induction and naming of Kiran Bedi as the chief ministerial candidate and predictions of a strong AAP showing in pre-election surveys, the BJP central leadership has taken charge of the party campaign, directing 120 MPs and cadres from 13 states to fan out across the capital for “groundwork”.
On Thursday, BJP president Amit Shah turned the Delhi unit headquarters into a war room where he held a meeting with party leaders and central ministers, among them J P Nadda, Nirmala Sitharaman, Rao Inderjeet, Chaudhary Birendra Singh, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Maheish Girri, Ramesh Bidhuri, Vijay Goel, Ram Lal, Satish Upadhyay, Prabhat Jha, Ananth Kumar, Dharmendra Pradhan, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Radha Mohan Singh, Lalji Tandon and Krishan Pal Gujjar.
For the second day, Bedi did not address any public meeting, citing a sore throat and what aides called a “voice rest”. At a roadshow on Wednesday, she simply waved to the crowd and made a victory-sign without uttering a word.
At the meeting in the party’s Delhi office, Shah sought feedback from the field, a BJP source said. The party also decided to call its manifesto a “vision document”.
Asked why was the party calling ministers when it had its cadre on the ground, Ananth Kumar, who is also a central minister, said ministers and MPs have been called to do the “groundwork”.
“We have that kind of cadre, we have ministers and MPs, so we are using it. Other parties don’t have it, so they can’t use it.”
Emerging from the meeting with Shah, he said: “120 MPs from all over the country and BJP cadre from 13 states will take part in election campaigning. Around 250 public meetings will be organised. BJP will have 1,000 hoardings, banners in every assembly. The effort is to get a two-third majority this time… Today, the strength is with the BJP and we will use it to secure a victory with a record margin.”
Ministers have been asked to take up issues everyday, starting with Sitharaman and Rajiv Pratap Rudy throwing questions at AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.