Assembly polls ahoy! But Delhi unit of BJP is in a shambles


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19 Sep 2012

 
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Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with students of Delhi University. (PTI photo)

There are several regional satraps in India, even the national parties enjoy their fair share of them. But like Narendra Modi has become an icon for the BJP and is widely expected to storm through the Gujarat Assembly polls later this year, the Congress has its own ace – Shiela Dikshit. And just like the Congress is sailing the Titanic in Gujarat, the BJP is on a battered old rowboat about to capsize in Delhi.

The defeat of the ABVP in the Delhi University polls despite a higher turnout should be a big warning sign for the BJP, but the Delhi-unit of the party is racked with internal battles and well, the chances of defeating Sheila Dikshit or even gaining a couple of seats in the next Lok Sabha polls in Delhi seem remote, the Congress has a vice-like grip on all seven Delhi Lok Sabha seats. Several people might have a lot of choice words for Kapil Sibal but the possibility of usurping Chandni Chowk from him seems almost laughable.

I am writing this piece as a BJP sympathiser, as someone who has seen limited development in Delhi under Sheila Dikshit, yet would like the BJP to come to power. Yet, the state of the State-unit of the BJP is nothing to write home about: Unedifying allegations abound and there are 10 different aspirants for the Chief Minister’s post.

Yes, the possibility exists that Sheila Dikshit’s son and anointed successor, Sandeep Dikshit, who is the Lok Sabha member from East Delhi, might get into a giant battle with Union Sports Minister and Lok Sabha member from Central Delhi and the Chief Minister’s former blue-eyed boy Ajay Maken. However, winning an election by default is not a terribly convincing victory.

The BJP has no vision for Delhi, the party’s State leaders have not articulated any policies that they will improve the city – from public transport to water woes, the party has no solutions to offer. Assembly election is just a year away, and the residents of this city have no idea who will stand against Sheila Dikshit. Occasional protest rallies do not cut it, and while there is considerable anger against the Congress at the Centre, most middle-class and lower-income group Delhi-ites, the bulk of the voting classes, are generally sympathetic to Sheila Dikshit despite all sorts of follies committed by her Government during the Commonwealth Games and on other infrastructure projects. If Arvind Kejriwal does form a political party as he wants to, the anti-incumbency vote might well go to him, because say what you will about he appears to be more sincere than the Delhi State BJP.

In light of recent events, it could be that Delhi goes to the polls after a national general election; in that case things might change if a new dispensation comes to power at the Centre. Yet with over 10,000 booths in Delhi, booth-level observers have not been appointed and there has been no mobilisation on the ground by the principal Opposition. The party should not rest on its laurels on winning the municipality polls in Delhi — the BJP barely scraped across the line and in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has a minority corporation running.

The Delhi unit of the party has not reached out to the various immigrant communities that now together comprise the majority population of Delhi. This influx is mainly from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and no attempts have been made to integrate these Purvanchalis — or other communities for that matter — into the party.

Do not get me wrong, I want the BJP to win in Delhi, but the party has to really pull up its socks because as it stands right now, the Congress under Sheila Dikshit seems set to take another term in Delhi.

(c) NiTi Digital. Reproduction and/or reposting of this content is strictly prohibited under copyright laws.


 
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  • aAbhijeet

    Dear Mr DK Bose,

    I am not from Delhi & hence I am only giving a third person’s eyeview about Delhi. It seems the real problem in Delhi politics is not that the BJP is inefficient but its typical Babu/Jugadu mindset. Since Delhi does not have any basic lingusitic / cultural character i.e,( Mumbai-Marathi, Kolkata-Bengali, Chennai-Tamil, etc), it swings along with any power centre who can provide it with some sense of stability no matter how corrupt it may be. This has made Delhi a place where you can practically get away with anything provided you have Money & Political alignment. Congress has all the traits to lead such a unideological & corrupt place. Not surprising atall!!

  • Kes

    Sorry to say this, but anyone who thinks that BJP is a national party is living in a fool’s paradise. The central leadership of BJP has given up long ago its primary work of increasing the reach of BJP. They are just hoping to come to power by compromising their principles and roping in a few allies.

  • CHANDRA

    Smriti Irani is the answer. If she is projected as a CM candidate then I then BJP will be able to win a majority in BJP. She is intelligent and articulative

  • N.S.Natarajan

    Smriti is not from Delhi. An outsider and may not be acceptable for CM post. Further her intelligence is questionable. Already she made some derogatory remarks against Modi and later apologised for it. But she is a crowd puller and can attract votes for the party. BJP should use her talent in this respect to its advantage. She can contest for MLA in Delhi for the present.




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