Day after: BJP Delhi chief says could have avoided Kejriwal-centric campaign

Jagdish Mukhi says delay in naming candidates, CM nominee cost party

Written by Abantika Ghosh , Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Updated: February 12, 2015 10:31 am
Satish Upadhyay, Delhi Polls, BJP, AAP Satish Upadhyay at the Idea Exchange on Wednesday. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

A day after the BJP’s electoral drubbing in Delhi, state president Satish Upadhyay said he believed the party could have avoided a “Kejriwal-centric” campaign, while his colleague Jagdish Mukhi questioned delays in announcing the polls and naming Kiran Bedi as the chief ministerial candidate.

Read Also: Morning of hope melts into despair for Kiran Bedi

Speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange on Wednesday — a transcript of which will be printed on February 15 — Upadhyay said: “It is my personal belief that we could have avoided making the campaign Kejriwal-centric. A lot of the campaign was negative, which probably helped Kejriwal get sympathy. In my personal opinion, we could have avoided making our campaign about Kejriwal. We put him on the centrestage.”

The Delhi BJP president said this would be part of the party’s introspection. The BJP was reduced from 31 seats in 2013 to just three. “Perhaps a negative campaign could have been avoided. This could have been a reason, it is something we have to analyse,” he said.

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Asked if the haramzaadon remark made by Union Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti had hurt the campaign, Upadhyay admitted that such remarks could have been avoided. “Maybe some things should not have been said. Words have a life of their own. Some will be forgotten after a sentence, others will haunt you forever,” he said.

Upadhyay said the AAP may have won a huge mandate — 67 of 70 seats — but governing Delhi is not an easy task. “Delhi is not an easy city to govern. There are multiple authorities. Making promises are easy, and the AAP has made many such promises. We will know in six months whether the AAP can deliver. The voters can be unforgiving. The BJP may not be able to oppose their policies in the Delhi assembly, but we will do our job outside,” said Upadhyay.

Mukhi, who was once touted to be named the CM candidate, maintained that the delay in announcing both the CM candidate and the party nominees may have cost the BJP.

“In politics, opportunities once missed never come back… our central leadership… decisions were required to be taken at some point, they were taken at other times. I feel if we had to have a face, or go without a face as we did in Haryana, that call should have come earlier. Our candidates were announced only on January 20, some were announced on January 21. That caused a lot of bad blood… The next day was the last date for filing nominations, people got busy. There was no time to reach out to disgruntled elements,” said Mukhi.

He indicated that the party had failed to seize the momentum after the the Lok Sabha elections, and the assembly polls in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. “Things were much better then. I am not aware why Delhi elections were not called then. You have to ask the senior people who decide,” said Mukhi, emphasing \that he was no longer an office-bearer in the state unit.

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  1. Ajay Mittal
    Feb 12, 2015 at 11:49 am
    Main reason- Jagdish Mukhi again is thinking of the shortcut- "Had elections being held immediately after Lok Sabha win, he would be in power" instead of come we never heard his voice on any issue in last 30 years be it corruption, rape, crumbling health & education, Politicians owned buses knocking people off, non-working police, you name it, he spoke on none of the issues. Even in this election, they never went door to door talking about real issues and solutions. There are many reasons for BJP failures but the main reasons were the Delhi cadre was impotent, lazy and had not stories to tell people of their past successes because there were none other than seniority in the party. If Delhi cadre had any credit to their name, Modi wouldn't have to descend on Delhi and thanks to poor advice Modi must have got, he made complete non-sensical statements. If Delhi cadre would have been good, there would not have been any reason to bring in Bedi.
    1. T
      Feb 12, 2015 at 8:29 am
      Dr. Jagdish Mukhi has also partly to share the blame. When AAP issued posters naming Mukhi as BJP CM candidate Mukhi went to press stating who is AAP to name him as BJP CM candidate. Any self respecting man would have taken it as a challenge. Similarly Mukhi lost by over 25000 votes which it self shows that AAP was a preferred choice. Sakshi and Sadvis had a free run and voters believed that these elements had tactic approval of NaMo.
      1. R
        Feb 12, 2015 at 3:36 pm
        These leaders do not have their own backbones. They want Modi wave to bring them to the s. If a leader has no stuff to present to the people, better he act as an ordinary cadre. These leaders are not able to persuade Modi or Amit Shah, the master strategist, who has also failed. No way BJP would have won the election even if it was conducted earlier. Now Paanch Saal Kejriwal. Good luck 2020.
        1. j
          Feb 14, 2015 at 8:13 pm
          govt employees including ias officers voted against dare anyone ask them to come at 9 a.m on winter mornings?!
          1. Barka Farooki
            Feb 12, 2015 at 8:38 am
            For the leader of the nation to maintain silence when others are vilified and cuted is form of partition and approval of such tactics. It is called turning a blind eye! Narendar with all his other decent capabilities is highly biased and communal and for power he and his inner circle can go to any length.
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