‘Personalised campaign backfired’

Print edition : March 06, 2015

Satish Upadhyay. Photo: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Satish UPADHYAY, president of the Delhi State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the election verdict:

We had not expected such a huge defeat. Why the BJP lost is a matter for introspection. I am planning to sit with all our candidates and party workers soon to discuss many matters. It will also help us analyse the factors that led to this verdict.

Our vote share remains almost the same if we compare it with the 2013 elections. We were expecting that our votes would increase. We had won all the seven parliamentary constituencies with a 46 per cent vote share. What happened in the last nine months, we need to analyse. Why the Congress votes which went to the AAP did not come to us needs to explored. It should have come to us as we know that the traditional votes of the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party came to us in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. We need to understand what we lacked this time. But, obviously, we did not lose this election because of only one factor. Yes, I think that a negative, personalised campaign against Kejriwal may have backfired. Controversial statements from some of the MPs, one of which was that a Hindu woman needs to give birth to at least four children, were unnecessary during the campaign.

But you must realise that we have lost only one Assembly election. The BJP remains the strongest organisation in Delhi. Our workers and sympathisers remain the same as is reflected in our vote share. I have full confidence in our party workers. They are not going to desert us. I disagree with the allegation that our workers were discontented. If there was discontentment, it would have been visible. This alleged discontent within the party is contradicted by our vote share. A bit of infighting will always be there. But this is not novel in our party. As longs as a political party exists, there will be some infighting, like it happens in a family.

AAP ne Pandit ka kaam kar diya is baar. (AAP played the role of a Brahman in this election). Generally in Delhi, a Jat does not vote for a Gujjar and a Gujjar will never vote for a Jat. But if there is any Pandit in the electoral fray, both communities vote for him as a compromise. The discontented voters must have voted for the AAP.

As told to Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta

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