Disappointed BJP to relook
at Lok Sabha strategy
By Arun Anand
Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Stunned by its poor showing in the assembly
elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has gone into
an introspective mood with its leaders admitting they will
have to review strategy for the upcoming general elections.
they are putting up a brave face, BJP leaders admit privately
that their analyses have gone hopelessly wrong and that they
had failed to derail the Congress in the manner they wanted
the sweeping win in Madhya Pradesh and the narrow victory
in neighbouring Chhattisgarh are happy news, the BJP knows
it has lost in the country's biggest state Rajasthan and has
been routed in Delhi.
Delhi verdict has stunned the party.
BJP, a party hoping to take power following the Lok Sabha
polls early next year, had pinned enormous hopes on Delhi,
a mini India whose mood was expected to reflect the electorate
of the entire country.
despite soaring food prices in a city of millions of poor,
the Congress swept back to power in the national capital for
a third five-year term, dealing a body blow to the BJP.
BJP had thought that raking up the Congress-led governments'
failure to check the Mumbai terror massacre and an aggressive
campaign against the arrests of Hindu activists following
the Malegaon bombings would result in good dividends. It did
not happen that way.
BJP leaders are now pinning the blame for the rout in Delhi
on Vijay Kumar Malhotra, a veteran who was pitted as the chief
ministerial candidate vis-a-vis incumbent Congress Chief Minister
mood is sombre at the party headquarters. Senior leaders have
started analysing the factors that led to the debacle in Delhi
and Rajasthan," a party leader said.
is clear that projecting Malhotra as chief ministerial candidate
proved to be a strategic blunder. In Rajasthan, bitter rivalry
in the party cost us dearly," said a senior BJP leader.
party is having a sigh of relief that it could manage to put
up a good performance in Madhya Pradesh and hung on to Chattisgarh,"
president Rajnath Singh admitted that the results in Delhi
were "quite unexpected ... shocking". In Rajasthan,
he added, the results have failed to match the expectations.
sources said the party leadership was set to review the effectiveness
of its poll planks of "terrorism" and "inflation".
raised these two issues in our campaign, especially the issue
it didn't seem to have paid off well electorally," a
senior BJP leader told IANS.
are definitely going to have a relook at our strategy of identifying
and projecting campaign issues," the party leader added.
Delhi results have come as the biggest shock for the leadership,"
said another leader.
sources added that the results also showed that aggressive
Hindutva had not proved beneficial for the party.
to BJP sources, even when the vote count began Monday morning,
they were confident of winning in four places - Chhattisgarh,
Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
leaders had also decided that if they had won in all four
states, or at least in three, they would have demanded early
Lok Sabha elections.
BJP now realises that winning new allies ahead of the Lok
Sabha ballot will be no more an easy affair. That too is bad