Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari is leading the campaign in villages and slums.


New Delhi: If there is one big hurdle in the way of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “Mission 60” in Delhi, it is the party’s abysmal performance in 20 Assembly segments in all the six Assembly polls held in the national capital since 1993. These include eight Muslim-dominated seats where the BJP has never won an election and 12 reserved constituencies that were the traditional strongholds of the Congress and now the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The BJP has planned to launch a massive outreach programme in these constituencies with its Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari leading the campaign in villages and slums. While Tiwari has already begun campaign in night camps in slums, he will also be touring each of these reserve constituencies, seeking to woo the Dalit voters and bring them to the BJP fold. A senior BJP leader said all party office bearers, sitting and former MLAs and the seven BJP MPs in Delhi will also be visiting these areas as part of the outreach programme.

Tiwari told The Sunday Guardian: “The Congress and the AAP have always used Dalits and Muslims as mere vote banks while ignoring development in these areas. The BJP will go out to these voters with the achievements of the BJP-led government at the Centre. The difference between the BJP’s model of good governance and the falsehood of Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government is clearly visible.”

The state unit has also planned to launch membership in Muslim-dominated seats with the aim of bringing youths and women from the community to the BJP fold. The Muslim-dominated seats in Delhi include Chandni Chowk, Matial Mahal, Ballimaran, Seelampur, Mustafabad, Badarpur, Okhla and Trilokpuri. Except the Mustafabad seat where the BJP’s sitting MLA Jagdish Pradhan broke the jinx in 2015 Assembly polls, the BJP has never won any election in the remaining seven  seats. Similarly, the BJP’s record in reserved seats like Bawana, Deoli, Ambedkar Nagar, Sultanpur Majra, Mangolpuri, Madipur and others have been below expectations.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections where the BJP trounced its rivals Congress and the AAP, the party could only finish better of Congress in two Muslim dominated seats—Babarpur and Mustafabad. Both these Assembly segments fall in Tiwari’s constituency. In Chandni Chowk, the
Congress performed better in all the three Muslim dominated seats.

Sources said the BJP saw defeat at 1,808 out of the total 13,816 booths in Delhi, that are mainly Muslim-dominated areas.

During the outreach programme, BJP workers will tell the people from the Dalit and Muslim communities the development works initiated by the Narendra Modi government. The party will organise camps in these constituencies in order to ensure that underprivileged people from these community are provided with the benefits of the Modi government’s schemes.

It may be noted that the BJP has been out of power in Delhi for the last 21 years and riding high on the Modi wave, the party is eyeing to make a comeback in 2020. The BJP is also anticipating an early election in Delhi by October- November this year.

Preparing the ground for the elections, the BJP has roped in a leading private agency to carry out surveys before beginning with the electioneering. The surveys will be conducted in three phases. In the first phase, the BJP will be focusing on the constituency specific issues, while in the later stage, the party will assess the performance of the incumbent AAP government and individual performance of the AAP MLAs in each of the constituencies. In the final phase of the survey, the party will assess the popularity and acceptability of its own leaders in each of these Assembly segments in order to finalise the candidates for the elections.

The Lok Sabha election results came as a huge setback for the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP whose vote share declined to a meager 18.1% compared to 54% votes in 2015 Assembly polls. Four AAP candidates ended up losing their security deposits. The Congress, on the other hand, secured 22.5% votes in Lok Sabha polls and finished second in five of the seven seats in Delhi. The BJP won the highest ever 56% votes in the Lok Sabha polls.