He may not be contesting the Delhi assembly elections, but his face is omnipresent on all BJP posters and billboards across the city.
Almost all the posters and billboards put up by the BJP have the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s face over it. The party is yet to announce a chief ministerial candidate in Delhi. Mohd Zakir/HT Photo
The Delhi BJP, which is yet to announce its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming assembly elections, has been banking on party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to do the trick for them.
The Delhi unit of the saffron party had been fighting heartburns among senior local leaders who were reportedly unhappy with the leadership of Vijay Goel.
However, the Delhi election in charge and former national president of the party, Nitin Gadkari, brought the warring factions together.
He divested the decision-making powers in several committees in which all the senior leaders were accommodated. But the party could not reach a consensus on projecting a chief ministerial face.
The party is apprehensive that if they announce a name at his point, it may lead to a rebellion. But this too has not helped the party’s cause.
Three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit has remained the favourite choice of the people for the CM post as per some recent pre-poll surveys.
They also showed how the absence of a chief ministerial candidate has dented the party’s chances, catapulting political greenhorn Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal to the number two spot.
Going into the elections sans a face, the party has now pinned all its hopes on the Gujarat chief minister.
Now, one can see Modi featuring on all campaign posters of the party.
A number of ticket aspirants have his posters and are distributing pamphlets, explaining Modi’s vision to connect with the youth.
In its overdrive for a successful September 29 rally, which is to be addressed by Modi, the party has formed as many as 18 panels to organise and coordinate several functions. Party members have been going from door-to-door, apart from local advertisements, to cash-in on the development model of the Gujarat CM.
Political pundits feel that projecting Modi as their leader in a state assembly elections may hurt the BJP’s chances in Delhi.
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“The BJP is projecting him as the poster boy and a media euphoria is being created around him. We must not forget that these are local elections and not national polls. People know they are not voting for Modi as the chief minister. BJP’s plan may backfire,” said Vivek Kumar, associate professor, school of social sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
“The charisma of Modi is visible all over the country and Delhi is no exception. He is popular among the masses, especially among the youth, and all those who want development in India. Hence, his face is bound to be there on our posters. As far as the chief ministerial candidate for Delhi is concerned, this decision will be taken by the parliamentary board of the party,” said Vijay Goel, Delhi BJP president.