With their terms set to end soon, BJP councillors of the three municipal corporations today met at the Civic Centre amid speculation that some of them may desert the party ahead of the MCD polls. Though a senior BJP leader said the meeting was a “get together” of outgoing councillors, sources indicated that many representatives from rural wards were mulling fighting the upcoming MCD polls as Independents.
“It was an informal meeting of the councillors as their terms are coming to an end. They wanted to get together and bid farewell to each other,” the senior BJP leader said, requesting anonymity. Sources also indicated a group of councillors also later met a top BJP leader and a party MP.
Resentment has been brewing among a section of sitting BJP councillors over the party’s decision to field only fresh faces in the MCD polls, amid speculation that it may trigger defection by a few of them from the party’s ranks. The civic polls are due on April 22 and some of the leaders in all three BJP-ruled municipal corporations — NDMC, SDMC and EDMC — have contested that the strategy must be a “mix of experienced hands and fresh blood”.
“While we respect the decision taken by our party’s high command, it would have better if some of the old councillors were also included along with new faces for candidacy.
“Many of these councillors have served for decades and are a household name in their areas. In a local election like that of the MCD, a known face is very important, as new faces will not be able to connect in short period,” a source had said last week.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari has also sought to allay the apprehensions of the sitting councillors, who may be feeling resentful about the party’s decision to field only fresh faces. “26 of these sitting councillors, who have contributed to the party and served people for years, would be chosen for special roles, maybe for next Delhi Assembly elections,” he had told reporters at Ramlila Maidan here on March 17.