JUST DAYS ahead of the MCD polls, the Delhi BJP unit roped in the old guard for the last leg of campaigning and asked Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari to concentrate on his constituency in the east district. Sources in the party said the new move is in a bid to “contain the damage caused by rebels within the party”.
While veteran leaders such as Harsharan Singh Balli, Nand Kishore Garg, Ram Bhaj, V K Malhotra have started campaigning, Tiwari has been asked to ensure that all the votes Arvinder Singh Lovely —who recently joined the party from the Congress — was supposed to mobilise for the Congress does not go to waste, sources said.
“The party needs a boost in the east district as its main competitor, the Congress, has suffered a setback due the resignation of former DPCC president Arvinder Singh Lovely. The BJP wants to ensure none of Lovely’s votes go to any other party,” a senior leader said.
To boost its campaign in the city, Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, national spokesperson Sambit Patra and president Yuva morcha Sunil Yadav distributed the pamphlets in DTC buses. Balyan and Patra interacted with the commuters on Thursday.
The old guard said they were always willing to help but had not participated yet as they were not called in. “Now, they remember us. They should have called us earlier. After all we are party soldiers and have been winning in our respective constituencies,” said a senior leader.
While the differences of opinions within the party seems evident, party sources said they feel positively about the MCD elections results as “by and large the public sentiment is in favour of PM Narendra Modi”.
Some of the leaders, meanwhile, seemed disappointed with the last minute changes. “If you tell us to reschedule our campaign programmes and do something else, how will that be possible? We already have our commitments. There was nothing new to propose,” said one of them.