Published On: Thu, Dec 12th, 2013

BJP may replace many losing candidates if there is repoll in Delhi

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If the Delhi assembly has to go in for re-election, BJP, which ended up as the single largest party with 32 seats in the 70-seat assembly, will have to change many of its candidates who have lost the polls.

After an internal analysis of the party’s poll performance in the December 4 elections, the top BJP leadership has concluded that while most of their winning candidates may be repeated, the party will have to bring in new faces for the seats that the party has lost, mostly to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“It is the credibility quotient that will matter the most,” said a senior party leader who has analyzed the party’s performance.

The party has also realized that it made a mistake by not taking the AAP phenomenon into cognizance, and has now decided to take it seriously if Delhi has to face a second round of elections after a gap of some months.

Party sources said it was only in the last two weeks or 10 days before the polls that a couple of BJP leaders discussed the threat from AAP contestants, and even then most BJP leaders refused to acknowledge Arvind Kejriwal’s outfit as a serious competition. “It shows that most of the leaders, specially the Delhi leaders had very little connect with the people,” admitted a senior leader, while another called the Delhi results and the AAP phenomenon “a wake up call” for the party.

In fact the “wake up call” due to the AAP effect has come to BJP for the Lok Sabha polls, according to party sources.

Whether it is re-election for the assembly or the coming Lok Sabha polls due in six months time, BJP is worried about the dealing with the AAP party. Even while the party is dependent much on the Narendra Modi factor to swing votes in its favour to some extent, the party has decided to be very careful in choosing its contestants for Delhi, following the “credibility quotient” factor, that BJP admits has gone in favour of the Kejriwal’s campaign for the AAP party.

BJP is also of the view that a repeat fight for Delhi will be between it and the AAP, with the Congress totally out of the game. According to the BJP calculations except for the essentially the Muslim votes Congress has not been able to retain any other vote specially in the resettlement colonies in outer Delhi and in central Delhi.

However, with the an unexpected boost in the Jat and Gujjar votebank, BJP now has to worry about the middle class voters in central Delhi, which according to party leaders go more by “image of the contestant rather than any other factor.”

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