The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying hard to keep its cards close to the chest. Since September, the party has been postponing the date of announcing its candidates’ list.
The list was first to be announced on September 15. The party later shifted it to October 7 as its workers were ‘busy preparing for Narendra Modi’s rally’ in the Capital. Yet again, the party has shifted this date to the end of this month.
This time fear of defections has kept it from announcing the list. Sources in the party said the deadline is being extended deliberately as the party fears that a number of its disgruntled workers might end up joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and affect its vote share.
“Already a few workers who were associated with the BJP have joined AAP. The party high-command is deliberately not coming out with the list,” said a senior BJP leader.
Sources also said that the issue has been raised in a number of election meetings and most of the leaders endorsed this strategy. Even during the last municipal elections, the BJP had come out with its list at the very end.
A number of BJP councillors and workers have joined the Aam Aadmi Party recently. One of them is sitting councillors Desh Raj Raghav, who has been fielded by AAP for the Delhi elections. “A number of AAP candidates were associated with the BJP earlier, including Baljeet Singh Mann from the Narela constituency and Gulab Singh Yadav from Matiala,” said another BJP leader.
Senior party leaders said during the previous elections, those who were denied ticket just had one option: To contest as an independent. “With the formation of AAP, they will be able to get the backing of a party of which people are aware of rather than going all alone as an independent candidate,” said a leader.