With less than three weeks to go for polls in Delhi, the BJP has decided to pull out all stops with former top cop Kiran Bedi and senior BJP leaders holding road shows and meetings in every seat this week onwards.
The party’s list of candidates is likely to be announced on Monday and leaders are busy finalising campaigning schedules of Bedi – who joined the party last week -- and other leaders such as PM Narendra Modi, sources said.
BJP president Amit Shah has also asked workers to meet voters in their area for three hours every day till the polls and make a digital record of the party’s achievements.
“Each worker has to meet 30 families everyday till the day of elections. Sip a cup of tea with voters and discuss their issues,” Shah told workers on Sunday.
The BJP is still the frontrunner in the February 7 polls, according to surveys, but has been dogged by infighting and lack of clarity. A south Delhi rally by Amit Shah had to be cancelled on Saturday due to lack of coordination in the party’s city unit.
While both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have declared a majority of their candidates and started campaigning extensively—going door to door-- BJP workers seemed de-motivated due to the confusion over party picks, sources said.
In the face of such chaos, the BJP is now trying to put its house in order with Bedi planning to go to all 70 constituencies, sources said.
“We have a little over two weeks for campaigning and it will not be possible for her to address the public in every constituency. But she will visit each seat either by road shows or meetings,” said a senior BJP leader.
Bedi also responded to AAP’s charges that she joined the BJP to only serve as its face in the city. “The BJP has got the world’s most beautiful face with it -- Narendra Modi and his leadership. We are just stars who are revolving around him,” she said.
The former top cop also responded to reports of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare being unhappy with her induction into the BJP, saying she tried several times to talk to Anna over the phone but hadn’t been able to do so as he was either “sleeping or taking rest”. Bedi – a core member of Hazare’s 2011 anti-corruption agitation -- said she knew what Hazare would say and added that he would “smile.
Though the 65-year-old is expected to be given a key responsibility in the BJP’s campaign, reservations exist within the leadership over naming her the party’s CM pick. On Sunday, home minister Rajnath Singh said no decision had been taken on the CM candidate.”The parliamentary board will take a final call,” he said.
On Sunday, Shah cautioned party workers to not take the elections lightly and publicise the BJP’s achievements, a move that he claimed will make it undefeatable for the next 25 years.
“I am sure we will get a majority in Delhi but any shortcoming in this election will also impact the result of polls in Bihar,” Shah said. The saffron party emerged the single-largest party in the last assembly polls with 31 seats but fell short of the halfway mark of 36.
(with inputs from HTC and agencies)