Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes have surprised many. But with the implementation of the crucial policy facing tough times to mitigate the hardships endured by people, BJP’s Delhi unit leaders were worried about losing its loyal vote bank- traders and businessmen. With elections for municipal corporations just a few months away, the state unit is leaving no stone unturned to woo its core support base. Party sources, however, admitted that the AAP led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had managed to sway a chunk of this vote base in its favour during the 2015 assembly elections. The Delhi BJP machinery had swung into action three days after Centre announced demonetisation policy. The party called an urgent meeting of its mandals to prepare for any fallout and brace for opposition attacks, an Indian Express report said. According to the report, “The traders community has been hit hard and we are hoping that the matter regarding currency liquidity eases soon. Otherwise it could impact us in the civic agency polls,” a senior BJP leader said.
Notably, BJP won consecutive municipal elections in Delhi in 2007 and 2012 after the then Congress CM Sheila Dikshit trifurcated the municipal corporation.
A senior party leader said it’s like a paradoxical situation as “Not many opposes demonetisation, but no one likes losing money either. We called the trade wing and reasoned with them.” Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay said, “I believe this move is bigger than vote bank politics. It is in the nation’s interest — and no interest is bigger than that. People will realise its benefits in due course of time.” Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders associations (CAIT), said they had shared the concerns of traders with the BJP. “It is a great move for the nation and gives a chance for small businesses to flourish by killing monopoly of big houses. But it is true that due to cash crunch, our businesses are hit by 75 per cent. All we now want is an assurance that we will get the subsidy in tax charged by banks on digital payments,” he said, the Indian Express report said.