No AAP-specific campaign; it’s a spent force, say BJP leaders

As the BJP keeps sending out the signal to those aggrieved in the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit to come into its fold, the question remains: is there a quid pro quo arrangement involved in the process?

Tarique Anwar December 04, 2014 15:11:21 IST
No AAP-specific campaign; it’s a spent force, say BJP leaders

New Delhi: The BJP is welcoming defectors from AAP with open arms. While this serves its political goal of weakening the main rival in Delhi and leaving its cadre confused, it also creates scope for agitation among the BJP cadre. As the saffron party keeps sending out the signal to those aggrieved in the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit to come into its fold, the question remains: is there a quid pro quo arrangement involved in the process?

"There is no permanent enemy or friend in politics. We will not take any person setting conditions in our party. But at the same time, those who are competent won’t be disappointed," Ashwini Upadhyay, who till recently was an AAP believer but is a BJP spokesperson now, told Firstpost.

No AAPspecific campaign its a spent force say BJP leaders

The Delhi BJP has launched an aggressive campaign against AAP in Delhi. AFP

When asked where the BJP will accommodate those who defect the AAP and other political outfits to join the saffron brigade, he said: "We are an organised party and we have a lot to do. Those who want to us are welcome but we cannot commit their aspirations, if any, will be fulfilled. The party will use them as per their capability and skills."

While the AAP has been dismissive about the impact of its leaders quitting to join the BJP, there is unease among certain sections of its original supporters over the development. Its legislator MS Dhir shifted to the BJP after being denied a ticket for the upcoming assembly polls. He was followed by at least four other leaders quickly. A mass defection at the cadre level could prove to be a serious problem for the party.

BJP leaders, on their part, maintain they have nothing to with AAP leaders joining them. The party leaders Firstpost spoke to don’t see any specific urgency to target the AAP. Their belief is the latter is a spent force along with the Congress now, both of whom would be reduced to single-digit tallies. They said the party would not focus on either of these parties but would have its own independent strategy to win the Delhi elections.

“Our election strategy is not focussed on countering the AAP and the Congress because the two parties have already lost the ground and are no longer our competitors. We do not need to indulge in negative campaigns,” he said adding that “we will reach out to voters with our development plans for the national capital.”

Although the Delhi BJP refuses to accept that the AAP is a threat, it has launched an aggressive social media campaign to take on the latter. The party has finalised several Facebook pages with captions — ‘BJP 4 World Class Delhi’, ‘BJP Against Crime, Corruption and Communalism’, ‘BJP 4 Clean and Green Delhi’, ‘BJP 4 100% Literate Delhi’, ‘Together Me Can Make Crime Free Delhi’, ‘Together Me Can Make Corruption Free Delhi’, ‘Uniform & Equality Education for All Delhiites’, ‘Uniform and Quality Education for All Delhiites’ and ‘Main Hun Dilli Ki Janta, Main Hun Bharatiya Janata’. These cover pages will be changed every Monday. The party claims to have got good response of its official Facebook page. Its likes have increased from 12.38 lakh to 12.48 lakh in a day.

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