By: Vivek Gupta
A day after the BJP’s shocking defeat in the mayoral elections, local MP Kirron Kher broke her silence on Wednesday, and said that some ‘dirty games’ were played behind the curtain which made the BJP lose both the mayor as well as the deputy mayor’s posts. She added, “We need to get to the bottom of the matter to find out why and how this was done.”
On Tuesday, Kher had broken down after party candidate Heera Negi lost the election for the mayor’s post to Congress’ Poonam Sharma. A further jolt was the defeat of deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil, who was contesting again.
Talking to Newsline, Kher said that the defeat was unexpected as, in the run-up to the elections, the party had enough support. While BJP city president Sanjay Tondon blamed the defeat on the lack of support from nominated councillors, Kher said she could prove that three or four nominated councillors had voted for the BJP and that was precisely the reason the party retained the post of senior deputy mayor. “We were very confident to get at least 18 votes for all our candidates and had the desired strategy in place before the elections. Whatever happened later in the house was shocking,” she said.
Asked if the party’s own councillors had indulged in cross-voting, Kher said she did not want to comment on this issue, but “the overall mathematics does not add to the numbers we had expected.”
Stating that the party’s defeat needed to be thoroughly looked into, Kher said that she would herself go to the bottom of the things and find out the truth. She added that several councillors were also very upset and I am sure that some meetings would happen in the days to come to introspect on the party’s unexpected loss.”
Meanwhile, various factions in the party went into their huddles, planning to approach the high command with their own versions of the loss. Sources said that former MPs Satya Pal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan held meetings with their supporters. Sanjay Tandon too convened a meeting of office-bearers.
Tandon continues to be under fire. Councillor Satinder Singh told Newsline that the local leadership must own the responsibility of the defeat. “When we take credit for a victory, then we must take responsibility for the loss as well,” he said.
He alleged, “Since April last year when Kher was announced candidate for the Lok Sabha election, the local party leadership has failed to take everyone along and is involved in its own petty politics.”
Reacting to the allegation, Tandon said that nobody in the party had the authority to talk about internal matters in the media. Anybody doing so is liable for action, he said. He said that the local unit of the party would soon prepare a report on the defeat and send it to the high command.
He denied that the party lost due to mismanagement, or there was any cross-voting by party councillors.