New Delhi: BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma has been sounded out by the party leadership to prepare for the CM chair if the BJP reaches a position to form government in Delhi. The result of the Delhi elections will be declared on 11 February.
Verma, who comes from the influential Jat community, had won his seat in the May 2019 Lok Sabha elections by more than 5.78 lakh votes by getting 8.65 lakh votes, the highest among all the seven BJP candidates who won in Delhi. Delhi has close to 12-13% Jat population.
Sources in the party, familiar with the development, said that since the last week of January, the polarisation of voters on religious lines that has started taking place, has brightened BJP’s chances in the elections. Jat-dominated Assembly constituencies, that are around 12-15, are mostly spread over three Parliamentary constituencies of South Delhi, New Delhi and West Delhi.
“Earlier, we were expecting to do well on 10-15 seats, but in the last 10 days, we have gained significant traction among the voters, which is happening because of religious consolidation. Our guess is that we might be able to make an impact on 25 plus seats at the least. If our readings come true, then we might be in a position to form government with the support of independents, MLAs from other parties and by seeking support of some MLAs from AAP and Congress who are from the Jat community. Almost all Jat leaders who are active in Delhi, irrespective of any party, were helped by Parvesh Verma’s father, Sahib Singh Verma, when he was alive and they will, we are sure, help his son (Parvesh) when the time comes,” a party strategist said.
An analysis of Google trends too suggests that post 27 January, interest in Verma spiked and reached a value of 100 which means that his name was among the most searched keywords in the last few days. The users who were searching for him were based in Delhi. The last time Manoj Tiwari’s name reached the 100 point was on 13 January with most of these searches coming from Bihar.
The “hate” speeches of Parvesh Verma, as a result of which he was banned from campaigning by the Election Commission but not before it “elevated” his profile and the pushing back of another CM nominee and state party president Manoj Tiwari into the background, are being seen as the logical step towards Verma moving ahead towards the CM position. Verma was punished by the EC for stating that protesters at Shaheen Bagh would kill and rape Hindu women.
In the 70-member Delhi Assembly, the AAP had won on 67 seats in 2015, while the remaining three had gone to the BJP.
In the 2013 elections, the BJP had emerged as the biggest party by winning on 31 seats, with AAP getting 28 and Congress winning on eight.