Some senior party functionaries say the BJP is facing ‘anti-incumbency’ ahead of the local body polls.

 

NEW DELHI: The delimitation process for the MCD has ended, and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also issued a notification. This development has paved the way for the local body elections in the national capital.
Now, wards have been reduced to 250 from 272. The BJP, AAP and Congress have been preparing for the elections for the last many months.
Last week, the saffron party also sounded the poll bugle with a mega “Panch Parmeshwar” rally. This rally was addressed by BJP national president J.P. Nadda. Five booth level workers from every booth were invited to the rally. But there are various challenges which the BJP is facing in the local body elections. According to some BJP senior functionaries, “anti-incumbency” is one of them.
The BJP is in power for the last 15 years. This time, the BJP is having a direct fight with AAP. BJP cadre and leadership are working hard to narrow down AAP’s influence on the ground. In the 2017 MCD elections, BJP won 181, AAP 48, Congress 30 and others 11. At that time, there were three municipal corporations in Delhi.
To oust the BJP from MCD, Congress divided the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in three parts. But now, in order to deal with the challenge being received from AAP, the central government has amalgamated the three corporations into one. In the post-unification delimitation, the number of wards in Delhi came down from 272 to 250.
In recent months, BJP has alleged AAP of doing various scams and a series of attacks were launched by the party. Many leaders think that this is the right approach to deter anti-incumbency.
“We know anti-incumbency is a big challenge for us, but we have revealed various scams done by the Kejriwal government and in future, we will reveal more scams to deter the AAP,” a senior BJP functionary said.
But there are many other challenges which have made MCD elections hard for the saffron party. A BJP leader told The Sunday Guardian: “Not only anti-incumbency, but the Delhi BJP also lacks a face.” Various leaders in the party think that the Delhi BJP unit needs a strong local face.
On the other hand, the road towards the mayor’s seat is also not easy for the AAP. After clinching the CM seat in 2015, AAP did not succeed in winning the 2017 MCD elections and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP is also in damage-control mode after Delhi MP Parvesh Sahib Verma gave controversial remarks about minorities. “The remark was not needed. We have asked our spokespersons and other party representatives not to talk about this issue in the media,” a senior BJP spokesman said. Many leaders in the party think that this remark could have dented the minority vote bank. “We are already short of minority vote bank and remarks like this make it difficult for the party to increase its outreach to Muslims,” a leader said.