The polls, scheduled for February 2020, could be rescheduled to Oct-Nov this year.


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party has begun preparations for early Assembly polls in Delhi. Well-placed sources in BJP said that the Assembly elections that are scheduled for February 2020 could be rescheduled for October-November this year along with Assembly polls in states like Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand.

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 constituency-specific issues while in the later stage, the party will assess the performance of the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party government and individual performance of 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 upcoming Assembly polls assume great significance for the BJP which is out of power in the national capital since 1998. The party had lost miserably to AAP in 2015, despite the Modi wave sweeping the country in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

A senior BJP leader said that the selection of candidates would be crucial as almost all BJP leaders had lost the 2015 Assembly polls. While some senior leaders have been elected to the Lok Sabha, the party must field new candidates with strong ground support and acceptability among the public as well as party workers.

“The survey also aims at assessing the mood of the voters and their response to the present government. Almost all promises made by the Arvind Kejriwal government have turned out to be false and people are disenchanted by the ruling party. Their anger with the AAP was also evident with results of the Lok Sabha polls where the AAP was pushed down to the third position in five of the seven parliamentary constituencies. During the elections, the BJP will build a strong narrative against the AAP government which has failed on all fronts,” the BJP leader said.

Similarly, the agency will also list out the key issues concerning people in every Assembly constituency in Delhi. Accordingly, the BJP will chalk out its poll strategy, prominently highlighting these issues. Sources said that the BJP might come up with separate manifesto for each of the 70 Assembly constituencies.

Sources said early elections in Delhi might be an advantage for the BJP which is riding high on the Modi wave which won the party 303 seats in the Lok Sabha polls. However, the party is also treading cautiously keeping in view the poll debacle it faced in 2015 polls where the AAP bagged 67 seats and the BJP was reduced to merely three seats. The Congress was completely wiped out in the elections and could not win a single seat.

The Lok Sabha poll results come as a huge setback for the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP whose vote hare decline to a meagre 18.1% compared to 54% votes in the 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.