Updated: June 27, 2022 6:46:09 am
With losses in six seats that went for bypolls — including Rajinder Nagar and five MCD wards — under the current Delhi BJP unit headed by state president Adesh Gupta since it assumed responsibility in June 2020, murmurs of discontent have started growing within the party. Several party leaders have pointed to the need for more innovative campaigns, connecting with local workers and building a parallel narrative to the AAP.
During the MCD bypolls in March last year, the BJP lost all five seats including its stronghold, Shalimar Bagh, where it had won earlier.
Following Sunday’s loss, Gupta thanked the people of Rajinder Nagar for their support to party candidate Rajesh Bhatia. “Winning and losing is part of the democratic system. We accept the mandate of the people. Like in this election, our party workers would work even harder in future elections… Even while being in the opposition, we will keep raising people’s issues,” he said.
Some leaders took to social media to call for a rethink. Former media panellist and BJP leader Rahul Trivedi tweeted: “Delhi BJP needs a lot of introspection. What is the reason that we win elections in every region of the country, but when it comes to Delhi, we have to face defeat only. The distance between the voter and the party is increasing, the responsibility should be fixed.”
Subscriber Only Stories
Another karyakarta, K S Duggal, wrote: “Not brainstorming meetings, but action should be taken on Rajinder Nagar assembly defeat.”
Senior leaders The Indian Express spoke to acknowledged that there is a need to change strategy.
A BJP leader said that during the initial stage of campaigning, there was no proper communication with the press about visits of senior leaders. “There is a need to build local leadership in jhuggi clusters and unauthorised colonies. We cannot just bank on road shows of big leaders and hope people will vote in large numbers. The days of depending only on protests and pamphlet distribution have gone. There is a lack of innovation in the state unit in connecting with the masses,” he said. “We keep blaming Kejriwal for everything instead of offering an alternative to people.”
Another leader said: “There is a need to think about how the BJP has been able to win in Azam Khan’s and Akhilesh Yadav’s constituencies in Uttar Pradesh but it has continuously failed in Delhi.”
A BJP leader who was part of the Rajinder Nagar bypoll campaign team said there was a disconnect from the youth. “The state unit did not manage the campaign properly. While there were too many complaints on water supply, we were not able to convince voters of how the BJP will solve the crisis,” she said.
Pointing to the low voter turnout, the leader said there could have been better arrangements to bring people from their houses: “The voter turnout was especially low in our strongholds like Rajinder Nagar, New Rajinder Nagar and parts of Naraina and Inderpuri.” The constituency recorded a voter turnout of 43.75% as opposed to 58.72% in 2020.
📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.