New Delhi: After the mixed bypoll results this week, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will introspect over the outcome state-wise and some reshuffling may be witnessed in the coming weeks. Sources have confirmed to The Sunday Guardian that in the next few weeks, there could be major brainstorming sessions in the saffron party which aim at correcting some loopholes which were visible through these results declared on 2 November. The bypoll results were a mixed outcome for the BJP, which swept all the five Assembly seats in Assam, the Huzurabad Assembly seat in Telangana, two Assembly seats and one parliamentary seat in Madhya Pradesh (which included the Jobat Assembly seat, a Scheduled Tribe seat where the party had managed to win only once in the past), and a seat in Karnataka, while losing in Himachal Pradesh, including the prestigious Mandi Lok Sabha seat and two seats in Rajasthan and a seat in Karnataka which is in Chief Minister B.S. Bommai’s home district.
A senior party functionary based in New Delhi said, “The result is below expectations for the party, we have two positives from the polls. The success in the Northeast means that we have become very strong in the Northeast, and the Huzurabad Assembly segment in Telangana, which signals that we are getting stronger in Telangana as the ruling TRS put all its efforts on the seat, but the results from Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan are a bit disturbing and need a closer analysis and course correction. The information is that the BJP lost the polls because of infighting in the Rajasthan unit and over confidence and one candidate rebelled in Himachal. But when we are fighting an election, then why did the infighting emerge? If the candidate is declared by the BJP parliamentary board, the entire rank and file must support and make sure that we win, but it was missing in these seats. The results of Karnataka will also be followed closely and a detailed plan of action will be decided by the party as Chief Minister B.S. Bommai was not able to win the Hangal Assembly segment, a seat in his home district where he campaigned day and night with the rank and file of the party. The central leadership will analyse each aspect state-wise and make corrections, including making changes in the state organizations. The issue of farmers’ protest is not very damaging for our party as Abhay Singh Chautala won the Ellenabad Assembly seat in Haryana by just a margin of 6,000 votes against the BJP.” The other argument in the saffron camp is that these polls are fought on local issues and each constituency has its own dynamics, so it would not be wise to read a lot in these results. The leader added, “If rising prices were an issue in Himachal Pradesh byelections, then does it also mean that the Ellenabad bypoll signals that the farmers’ protests have no impact for our party as the margin of victory for Abhay Singh Chautala decreased to half and the Congress was nowhere in the picture?” Senior BJP leader and Member of Legislative Assembly in Himachal Pradesh, Arun Kumar, said, “We lost Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly seat because one strong leader, Chetan Bragta was not considered for the ticket and he rebelled, we could have avoided it. The Congress distracted the voters and made false allegations against us. Our party organization and central leadership are going to analyse these results and frame a clear winning strategy to sweep the 2022 polls.”
The loss in Himachal Pradesh has raised many eyebrows as it is the home state of BJP national president J.P. Nadda and Mandi is the home district of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur where the saffron party lost the parliamentary seat. In the 2019 parliamentary polls, BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma had emerged victorious by a margin of over four lakh votes.