New Delhi: Stepping on the gas for the upcoming Assembly polls, the election in-charges of Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party and Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Hardeep Puri and Nityanand Rai will begin extensive visits of all the 70 constituencies next week.
Aiming to stage a comeback in Delhi after over two decades, the BJP has deployed senior leader Javadekar as in-charge of Delhi BJP for the Assembly polls due early next year. Puri, a local of Delhi, and Rai, a poorvanchali, have been appointed as co-incharges to help Javadekar for strategising and running a smooth camapign for the polls.
“The Assembly visits by Javadekar and his co-incharges will begin in the first week of October, after Gandhi Jayanti. The visits will cover all the 70 Assembly segments and focus on determining the party’s position as well selection of strong winnable candidates,” said a top BJP leader. The schedule of visits is being chalked out.
A senior BJP leader said special focus will be on 12 reserved constituencies and eight Muslim-dominated Assembly seats where the BJP has never won an election since 1993. Sources said this is one big hurdle in the way of the BJP’s “Mission 60” in Delhi. These 20 Assembly constituencies have always remained 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 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.
During the visit to Assembly constituencies, the Union ministers will also seek feedback of local leaders and workers regarding the local factors and probable candidates in each of the constituencies. Sources said the visits will begin soon after the return of Puri from the United States.
The visit of the ministers to Assembly constituencies also aims at containing the infighting in the state unit. The displeasure of a certain section in Delhi BJP which have been crying foul over “poorvanchali dominance” in the state unit has also drawn attention of the central BJP leadership, sources said.
The BJP in last Assembly elections in Delhi in 2015 was completely routed by the AAP that bagged 67 of the 70 seats, making a grand entry in Delhi’s political scene. The BJP had managed to scrape through by winning just two seats while the third contender in the fray, the Congress, drew a blank.
This time around, however, the Delhi BJP leaders are upbeat in the wake of the party’s massive victory in the Lok Sabha polls. The party not only won all the seven Lok Sabha seats with huge margins, it also secured more votes than the AAP and Congress, in 65 of the Assembly segments, under the seven Parliamentary seats.