With decks cleared for Delhi polls, BJP pins hope on 'Modi magic', AAP on Kejriwal

New Delhi: With the Union Cabinet recommended the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly, setting the stage for fresh elections in the days to come, the political parties have begun finalising their poll campaign strategy to grab power here.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Nov 05, 2014, 05:01 AM IST
With decks cleared for Delhi polls, BJP pins hope on 'Modi magic', AAP on Kejriwal

New Delhi: With the Union Cabinet recommended the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly, setting the stage for fresh elections in the days to come, political parties have begun finalising their poll campaign strategy to grab power here.

As per reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be BJP's star campaigner and the party's main face in the election campaign here. "PM Modi is already the face of the party. We have had a historic win under him.  There is no question of changing the face," Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here.

The BJP, which was single largest party in the last polls here, also held a strategy meeting for impending elections and said the party will fight elections collectively.

"Our MLAs are ready for fresh polls and we will fight under a collective leadership. We will repeat our performance of Haryana and Maharashtra.," Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said.

The party, at the moment, is facing criticism from both the leaders of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who have accused the BJP of going to polls only after realising that no MLA was up for sale.

However, both the BJP and the AAP are confident of winning the fresh elections here.

Talking to reporters, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said that his party - unlike in the December 2013 election - would not project a chief ministerial candidate.

"It's too early to talk about the CM candidate. The party will decide at the right time and will choose a leader through a democratic process," he said, adding quickly that he was not in the race for the post.

Upadhyay said the BJP would repeat its winning streak in Maharashtra and Haryana in Delhi too.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, accused the BJP of spreading communal poison in Delhi and said his party would bring together eminent religious leaders to combat this.

The former chief minister also insisted that the AAP would win a majority in the upcoming election in the capital.

"We will win in Delhi no matter how hard the BJP tries," Kejriwal said.

Upadhyay and Kejriwal spoke a day after Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung was told by all three major parties in Delhi - the BJP, AAP and Congress - that said they favoured fresh elections.

Kejriwal said the AAP is confident of winning more than 45 of the 70 seats in Delhi -- up from the 28 it bagged in 2013, leading then to a hung house.

After the BJP, with 31 seats, refused to form a government, the AAP took power with the backing of the Congress. But the government collapsed in 49 days, leading to political uncertainty.

Kejriwal said the AAP would seek votes on three key issues - its achievements during its 49-day rule, a corruption-free Delhi and making the capital one of the world's best cities.

Asked if he could take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the AAP leader said Delhi's voters would have to choose between him (Kejriwal) and BJP's Jagdish Mukhi for the chief minister's post.

"Will Modi resign as prime minister and contest for the chief ministership of Delhi?"

Countering Kejriwal's claim later, Upadhyay said, "The BJP's main plank would be good governance".

Kejriwal and his colleagues also attacked the BJP for delaying the elections all these months and accused it of using "unfair means" to install a BJP government in Delhi.

Though Congress also looked prepared for the upcoming assembly elections here, a section of its leaders raised the pitch for bringing party veteran Sheila Dikshit back as its main face.

The Congress leaders are of the view feel that the party should forefront Sheila Dikshit, who served three successive terms as chief minister. However, Dikshit, who had recently resigned as Governor of Kerala - a post she took up after the Congress lost the Delhi election – said that is "out of the question." .

Speaking to a TV news channel, Dikshit said, "I am out of Delhi politics." Giving an advice to her party, Dikhsit said, "The Congress should not project a Chief Ministerial candidate in Delhi."

Dikshit argued that Congress should instead stick to its tradition of elected law-makers choosing their leader once the results are declared.  

The capital has been under President's Rule since Feb 17.

Earlier Tuesday, the Union Cabinet recommended the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly, paving the way for a fresh electoral contest.

The BJP and the Congress have traditionally held sway in Delhi. This changed last year when the AAP contested the assembly elections and pulled off a stunning performance winning 28 seats.

In comparison to the BJP's 31 seats, the Congress got just eight seats.

This year, the BJP won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in the capital. The AAP finished second in all the places. The Congress either finished third or fourth.