Fissures have widened after the BJP faced defeat in the recently concluded Rajinder Nagar bypoll.


New Delhi: The successive electoral losses faced by the BJP in multiple bypolls held over the last one year in Delhi have raised serious rumblings within the Delhi unit of the BJP. Several leaders, both inside and outside the party, are raising questions about the current leadership in the state and its inability to take on the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
The fissures within the Delhi BJP have further widened after the BJP faced a defeat in the recently concluded bypolls in the Rajinder Nagar Assembly constituency in Delhi, where BJP’s Rajesh Bhatia was defeated by AAP’s Durgesh Pathak with over 20,000 votes.
Soon after the election results were announced, former media panellist of the BJP and Delhi BJP leader Rahul Trivedi tweeted: “Delhi BJP needs introspection. When the BJP is winning across the country, why is it that only in Delhi the BJP is failing? The party is being unable to bridge the gap between the voter and the party. Responsibility should be fixed.”
Several other karyakartas of the Delhi BJP also took to twitter to express their displeasure of the current leadership of the BJP’s Delhi unit, claiming that the party has lost connect with the voters in Delhi and that they have failed to aggressively campaign and reach out to the voters of Delhi to convince them to vote against the Kejriwal government.
The BJP recently secured a little over 34% vote share from the Rajinder Nagar Assembly constituency bypolls, while the AAP secured over 64% vote share. The BJP also lost in all the six wards of the Delhi Municipal Corporation that went for bypolls earlier this year. Some BJP leaders say that ever since Adesh Gupta took over as the president of the Delhi BJP in June 2020, the BJP could not win a single election in the city.
Sources within the BJP also claimed that the municipal elections have also been pushed back since the BJP was not prepared to keep the MCDs with them due to the lack of organisational ability and a clear strategy to deal with anti-incumbency that the party was facing with their over 15 years of rule in the Municipal Corporations of Delhi.
A senior BJP functionary from Delhi who did not wish to be named told The Sunday Guardian that the Delhi BJP lacks the fire in the belly to win elections here, since they think that they have the central government and that is all that is needed.
“The BJP is failing over and over again to draw up a clear strategy to take on the Kejriwal government. There are multiple issues that are plaguing the city. There is poor and dirty water supply by the Delhi government, there are no new buses in the city, pollution, traffic woes, no new roads and schools and flyovers have been built in the last seven years, but despite all this, we do not see the leadership take on these issues and fight for the right of the people in Delhi streets,” the senior BJP functionary told this newspaper.
Another BJP leader from Delhi said that despite putting up a local candidate for the Rajinder Nagar bypolls, the BJP lost primarily because the BJP failed to connect with the voters in the juggijhopri and unauthorised colonies.“The BJP has no door-to-door campaign policy. The Delhi BJP chief does not interact with the media much. Just campaigning on open jeeps and addressing rallies don’t make you win elections. The leadership should chalk out plans to reach out to every voter of the city, including the strongholds of the AAP, which is the JJ clusters and the unauthorised colonies,” the Delhi BJP leader said.
Sources also pointed out the problem of multiple factions within the Delhi BJP, where one BJP leader claimed that almost all the MPs of Delhi have their own faction, while other state leaders like Vijender Gupta, the state president Adesh Gupta, Leader of the Opposition Ramveer Singh Bidhuri, Vijay Goel, among others, have their own faction and function independently.
Among the MPs, former Delhi state president Manoj Tiwari has his own faction, while old guard and MP, Dr Harshvardhan, also has his own faction; others like Pravesh Verma and Meenakshi Lekhi also have their own factions that have been functioning in Delhi “not in tandem” with the state unit.
BJP leaders say that these “deep rooted” basic problems of Delhi are responsible for the downfall of the BJP in Delhi and that the party should introspect immediately so as not toface a similar fate in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP had won all the seven Lok Sabha seats both in 2014 and in 2019, despite the AAP government having a thumping majority in the Delhi Assembly.