New Delhi: With the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership in disarray and dissatisfied with the ticket distribution for the forthcoming Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls, it may be the best possible chance for the Aam Aadmi Party to secure a victory in the civic body polls.
Sources stated that eyeing an opportunity the AAP has also decided to deploy a majority of its resources in the fight for the MCD, one of the richest and most powerful civic bodies in the country. “While the party’s campaign in Himachal Pradesh was low key a similar trend is now expected in Gujarat as AAP’s leadership is expected to focus majorly on winning the MCD polls,” sources in the party said.
Senior AAP leadership is expected to concentrate its energy and hold pointed campaigns in the national capital instead of Gujarat, sources added. The top leadership of AAP, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, are expected to hold a massive campaign in the national capital. However, BJP’s top leadership is expected to remain confined to Gujarat campaigning, sources added.
Despite its meteoric rise in Delhi's politics over the past decade, the AAP has been unable to secure power in the MCD. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party feels that the forthcoming polls will be the best ever chance for the party to secure its first victory and wrest the civic body from the saffron unit which has been holding it for the past 15 years.
The AAP also feels that it has a strategic advantage over the BJP as it will be fighting the MCD polls unitedly under the leadership of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “The BJP has been plagued by leadership issues in its Delhi unit as the Central party unit has so far not decided to give clarity over this issue,” sources pointed out.
It was felt that with a virtual lack of Congress initiative and leadership for the MCD polls it would be a direct contest between the BJP and the AAP. “This is expected to help the AAP further as it did in the 2020 and 2015 Delhi Legislative Assembly polls,” sources added.
Winning and controlling the MCD is considered very important as it would send a morale boost to the winning party’s cadre ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Rebellion in Delhi BJP over ticket distribution?
It is learnt that several senior Members of Parliament from the national capital, including Ramesh Bidhuri, Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, Gautam Gambhir and Hans Raj Hans have expressed their displeasure with the senior leadership over the selection of candidates for the forthcoming polls.
Sources said local MPs were not taken into confidence when the candidates from their areas were being finalized despite a 15-hour-long meeting with the Central BJP panel deployed for the selection of candidates.
Most of the names proposed by these MPs were not approved by the BJP’s Delhi in-charge Baijayant Jay Panda, creating a further rift in the Delhi unit. Sources said that Panda, being a late entrant to the party, has relied on his own surveys instead of taking the opinion of the local MPs.
The anger amongst the party’s MPs was reportedly quelled after the BJP chief JP Nadda and the party’s General Secretary organization BL Santhosh spoke to the senior leaders and asked them to back the official candidates, the source said.
The BJP is battling a tough fight with the AAP as it faces an anti-incumbency of 15 years. Though the saffron party has changed candidates on the majority of the seats.
Only 41 sitting councillors got the ticket this time in an attempt by the party to reduce public anger and hence beat anti-incumbency.
The polls for the civic body are scheduled to be held on December 4 and the results will be declared on December 7.