Recriminations had started in the BJP soon after polling ended on Saturday and exit polls all but ruled out a victory in the Delhi Assembly elections. Two days later, on Monday, the party was busy with finely calibrating the blame and getting some mileage out of a likely drubbing.
While sources said the bulk of the official blame is set to fall on the Delhi unit, the party think-tank is working to give any likely defeat a positive spin. In the unlikely scenario that the BJP wins the election, the credit will go to the Modi-Bedi leadership which made voters believe in the party. And if it loses, sources said, it will be called a vote against the Congress and thus a success for the BJP in its pursuit of a Congress-free India. This is the message for the counting day the party national leadership gave its Delhi unit on Monday, sources said.
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Meanwhile, signs on the ground suggested that the party had lost hope of scraping through a majority, let alone winning with a comfortable margin. Unlike last year, preparations for the counting day were missing.
Instead, whispers on pinning the “probable” defeat on Delhi leadership have started. A day after many candidates traded charges of “internal sabotage”, another review meeting held at the Delhi BJP office highlighted the issue of the authoritarian approach of the national leadership.
“A senior leader even alleged that the uncertainty in the party is due to the national leaders imposing themselves on the Delhi unit. The last-minute decisions have turned many people against the party,” a senior local leader said.
“For a year, they kept saying we are prepared whenever the elections are announced, although the stand regarding the elections was ambiguous. The party cadre was confused. We did not get time for preparations like other parties did,” a senior Delhi BJP leader said. “There were many decisions that went wrong.”
Kiran Bedi, the party’s CM candidate, too is very much part of the disgruntled chatter. Many believe she may not remain a Delhi BJP leader for too long.