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Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 23, 2013
As the BJP announced the name of Harsh Vardhan as its chief ministerial candidate for Delhi, its state unit has its job cut out – remove the face of Delhi party chief Vijay Goel from its campaign material and replace it with that of Vardhan. The change will be reflected on posters, billboards, BJP website, online campaign and even ‘Ghar Ghar Bhajapa’ --  a mass campaign to connect with the people. The de facto face of the party in Delhi till now, Vijay Goel’s face is there on all campaign material. In contrast, Vardhan is not visible anywhere.

With the BJP planning to present Vardhan as a direct competitor to chief minister Sheila Dikshit, new campaign material will have to be readied and Vardhan will have to be made a household name in a record time. The assembly elections are due on December 1 in Delhi.

“It is a direct competition between Dikshit and Harsh Vardhan and the entire campaign will now revolve around that,” said a party leader, revealing a team has already been formed for that purpose.

 “All the booklets that have been prepared so far either feature Goel or Goel and VK Malhotra together. So far, HarshVardhan was not visible anywhere on the posters or banners that have been put up across the city. A team has now been given the task to come up with a new set of slogans and make sure his face is visible across the city,” said a senior BJP leader.

However, he also pointed out that with the model code of conduct in place for the Delhi assembly elections, printing new banners, posters and coming up with a completely new campaign would add to the expenditure of the party.

Workers have been asked to popularise Vardhan among voters as well. “So far workers have been asking people to vote for the BJP as there was no CM candidate. Now, workers have to popularise Vardhan’s name so that people start identifying him,” he said.