Voices in Delhi BJP grow louder: Senior leaders and office bearers should contest MCD elections

The BJP will be facing 15 years worth of anti-incumbency in the MCD polls. The AAP has consistently been upping the ante against the BJP over the past several months.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started conducting surveys and brainstorming sessions for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections scheduled next year. Over 10 meetings have been held between the top leadership and block leaders with national general secretary Dilip Saikia.

The BJP will be facing 15 years worth of anti-incumbency in these polls. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which despite winning three assembly polls in a row has not managed to do as well as it would like in the municipal polls, has been upping the ante against the BJP over the past several months.

Senior leaders privy to the discussions said it was deliberated that BJP should put its best foot forward in the MCD polls and ask its senior leaders in the state and office bearers to fight the election.

In the last assembly polls, BJP had not given tickets to even a single sitting councillor, most of whom were facing strong anti-incumbency. The decision worked, and the party won all three municipal corporations — South, North and East.

Office bearers largely refrain from contesting councillor polls as they aspire for assembly elections.

Among the senior leaders present in the meetings were state president Adesh Gupta, Lok Sabha MPs Harshvardhan, Manoj Tiwari, Ramesh Bidhuri, Gautam Gambhir, Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, MLAs and mayors.

These meetings were conducted in the span of three days in the last week.

“It has been put forth that the party should put its best foot forward and leaders who have been holding posts in the organisation for years should prove their political status by seeking mandate from the people. The party is facing three-term anti-incumbency so it was suggested to Saikiaji that those leaders who have or claim to have support on the ground should prove it by fighting the upcoming MCD polls,” a party leader said.

The example of ministers being asked to fight the assembly polls in West Bengal was given, the leader added.

There were also discussions around the names in the state unit, including general secretaries Kuljeet Chehal, Harsh Malhotra, Rajan Tiwari, vice-president Ashok Goyal, spokespersons Harish Khurana and Tajinder Bagga, sources said.

General Secretary of Delhi BJP Harsh Malhotra said the meetings were held to discuss organisation matters, and upcoming corporation polls were a part of it. “We have conveyed to our party leaders and cadre that we are in election mode in Delhi. We will be going to the people and telling them how the AAP government has cheated them on fronts like clean water and pure air,” Malhotra said.

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