Workers not happy with dictatorial working style of Amit Shah: BJP member at review meeting

New Delhi, Rohinee Singh(dna): The causes cited at the review meeting held ranged from Amit Shah’s body language at rallies to PM Modi’s pinstriped coat, sources said.


Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi File Photo
For more than two hours on Friday morning, Delhi BJP leaders vent their anguish over the party leadership’s strategy in the run-up to the elections. Nearly three dozen reasons, including announcing Kiran Bedi as chief ministerial candidate, were spelt out as they analysed the causes behind the humiliating defeat.

The causes cited at the review meeting held at the Delhi party office ranged from party chief Amit Shah’s body language at rallies to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pinstriped coat, party sources said.

Twenty-two regional office bearers and district presidents of Delhi BJP attended the meeting that lasted for almost two hours.

Besides the fact that Bedi was foisted on them just three weeks ahead of the election, the leaders grudged the delay in announcement of candidates, the sources said. Bedi was not present at the meeting.

Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said the meeting discussed how to take the organisation forward in future.

Some state leaders, according to sources, expressed unhappiness over Shah’s approach towards the party workers. “The workers were not happy with the dictatorial working style of Shah. Many preferred to stay away, than take his orders,” said a member present in the meeting.

Blaming the centre for the “five questions a day for Kejriwal” strategy, an office bearer said, the union ministers– Ananth Kumar, Nirmala Sitharaman and Rajiv Rudy–  five questions gave an impression that BJP was making deliberate attempts to tarnish Kejriwal’s image.

“We were never asked for the feedback. Instead the state unit was pushed to the wall and there was no participation in decision-making or strategising process,” he added. The leaders also held the view that hitting out directly at Kejriwal backfired for the BJP. Instead the party should have held a progressive campaign.

Poor ad campaign also figured among the suggests made.”While there was enough Prachar Samagri ( publicist material) available, but it was not effective and impressive,” blamed another.

The leaders also held the view that MCD was a baggage that the BJP carried and that the state had to pay for its corrupt practices. A suggestion to either dissolve the MCD or unify the three was also made.

A suggestion on party failing to project dummy or independent candidates was also put up. Every political party tries to project a popular local as dummy candidate who can then eat into the vote share of the rivals. This time the BJP did not do so.”Had there been dummy’s , the votes could have got divided,” suggested a leader.

The leaders, meanwhile, have been asked to expand their local intelligence network, so that the party can get correct feedback.

None in the BJP had predicted that it will be reduced to three seats. The state unit has been asked to strengthen its local network and come back with feedback from ground.