For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the elections are local but the issues are national in Delhi.
With an eye on the General Elections next year, the saffron party is planning to raise issues with a pan-India appeal in the Delhi Assembly elections — polling for which will be held on December 4.
The party’s strategy reflects in its mascot for Delhi polls, Narendra Modi — who is also the party’s prime ministerial candidate. The party’s poster boy is also expected to address two more rallies, after his September 29 Rohini rally, in Delhi. The two may be organised in Trans-Yamuna and south Delhi. The BJP believes that the mega Rohini rally has helped motivate the party cadre in the Capital.
At a meeting last week, the party debated issues to be highlighted in its campaign for the Delhi elections. Senior party leaders agreed that all voters identify with issues such as price rise, corruption, security of women and the devaluation of the rupee.
Party sources said the Delhi unit was also trying to link the Assembly elections with the General Elections by naming its campaign ‘Dilli Badlo, Desh Badlo’ (Change Delhi, change the country).
If the party could wrest power from the Congress in Delhi, it would be huge morale booster for it since its arch-rival, the Congress, has been in power for the past 15 years in Delhi. A win in Delhi, the party believes, could well provide it the much-needed impetus to unseat the Congress at the Centre as well.
“The Delhi elections would become the stepping stone for the parliamentary elections to be held next year,” said a senior BJP leader. Among the local issues, safety of women, will be among the focus areas for the party. Modi, in his speech at the Rohini rally, had ridiculed the Sheila Dikshit government for only passing the buck on the Centre when it comes to safety of women. “Security is a major issue as it affects the entire society. The December 16 gang rape had shaken up the entire country,” said a senior BJP leader.