Appointment of ‘outsider’ and Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption campaign veteran Kiran Bedi as the party’s chief ministerial candidate just days ahead of the polls was among the reasons identified today by Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its humiliating defeat at the hands of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) – the decision was taken at the very top by PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
At a review meeting three days after the results were announced, senior party leaders also felt that delaying the declaration of the names of candidates and “failure” to enthuse grassroots workers had also been factors behind BJP’s poor showing in the Assembly polls.
Delhi BJP leaders analysed their poll performance at a two -hour long meeting here in which a majority of them felt that bringing in former IPS officer Bedi just three weeks before the elections was a “bad move”.
“Most leaders felt that bringing Bedi in just a few days before the poll was incorrect. If the party wanted to bring Bedi and make her fight polls, it should have done that much before the elections,” said a senior party leader who was speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Asked about Bedi’s absence from the meeting, he said that all state party office bearers had been called to the meeting and, since Bedi was not one, she had not been invited to attend it.
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The BJP leader also said that the party has asked all its district teams to prepare a report highlighting the reasons behind the debacle.
AAP registered a thumping victory in the just-concluded polls, winning 67 seats in the 70-member Assembly, with BJP left to pick up the remaining three seats.
“All BJP district office bearers have been asked to prepare a report on why the party failed to garner support among the people,” he said.
“At the meeting, most leaders also said that people in their constituencies had told them that they wanted to give AAP a chance to fulfil its promises and that is why they had voted for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party,” he added.
AAP had described its landslide victory as a “victory of honesty” and said that the mandate was against “ignorant, offensive and negative politics”.