BJP leaders identify reasons for defeat: Factionalism, gaps in coordination, AAP's freebies
By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], Feb 14 (ANI): Factionalism, gaps in coordination at the local level and inability to effectively counter AAP's narrative of freebies are among reasons identified by BJP leaders for the party's defeat in Delhi assembly polls.
The BJP has held introspection meetings to find causes for its defeat in the elections in which the ruling Aam Aadmi Party won a landslide for the second time in a row.
Leaders of BJP had claimed that before the polls that there was no infighting but the outcome has shown that the local unit "remained a divided house".
Though BJP's vote share increased, the party could win only five more seats compared to its 2015 tally when it had won three seats.
A senior leader, who was part of the meetings told ANI, "The infighting at the ground level, mismanagement and party's failure to counter Aam Aadmi Party's planks of free electricity and free bus rides for women were among reasons why we failed miserably."
"The lack of coordination was such that three senior party leaders held public meetings for a candidate at the same spot and ground," another leader said.
Party's national general secretary Arun Singh, MP, and V Satish, national general secretary (organization) held a meeting of vistaraks to analyse the cause of defeat.
Another meeting of constituency in-charges and coordinators was convened by party general secretary Anil Jain. BJP Delhi president Manoj Tiwari and Siddharthan, general secretary (organisation) of Delhi unit were among those present.
A meeting of party candidates who lost the polls is also likely to be held.
With central leadership throwing its weight behind the candidates, there is a feeling that the local units failed to meet the expectations.
A candidate, who lost the polls, also talked about lack of effective coordination with the people sent by the leadership to bolster the poll effort.
Another candidate said that the party failed to counter the narrative of freebies by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
"On the ground, we were zero in countering Kejriwal," he said.
While there is a feeling that slogans like 'goli maro' and `India vs Pak' may have hurt BJP's prospects, some leaders also feel that there was also polarisation in favour of BJP.
"Shaheen Bagh episode and speeches by leaders did help us. This is also explained by the increase in our vote share. But there was more consolidation of the minority vote," a leader said. (ANI)