I have been thinking on what all would it take for BJP to put together a dream team which can have more than a fair chance of reversing 0/7 they scored in 2009 elections. My first thought was nothing, at best they can get 2/3 seats looking at how important AAP has become to Delhi. I decided to look beyond the obvious and see what can counter AAP and show BJP’s sincerity to shoot for all or nothing, even if it means damaging it collaterally. There looks to be a scenario where BJP can put a fighting team which can disrupt and throw AAP out of its clothing and make it 1:1 straight fight while ignoring Congress altogether.
It is important to understand why BJP drew a blank in 2009 and what made Congress take home all the seven seats. Delhi Government under Shiela Dixit was doing well, corruption & scandals hadn’t come into open as yet. BJP was very busy bringing its own house down, everyone within BJP’s Delhi unit was fighting against each other and not even a single candidate wanted anybody else other than him to win from BJP. Congress didn’t defeat BJP, BJP ensured its own defeat by putting weak candidates who couldn’t have won anyway. BJP got its reward for doing this, worst ever drubbing.
Let me share some basic facts, Delhi has seven constituencies:
New Delhi, Chandni Chowk, South Delhi, West Delhi, East Delhi, North East Delhi and North West Delhi. As of 2009 Lok Sabha, all seven constituencies are with Congress.
New Delhi is with Ajay Maken, the two-term Congress MP who defeated Vijay Goel of BJP by a margin of almost 200,000 votes.
Chandni Chowk is with Kapil Sibal, another two-term MP who defeated Vijender Gupta by just a few votes short of 200,000.
South Delhi is with Ramesh Kumar, better known as the younger brother of 1984 Sikh pogrom accused Sajjan Kumar – Ramesh Kumar defeated BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri by almost 1,00,000 votes.
West Delhi is with Mahabal Mishra, Mishra Ji defeated BJP’s 5-term sitting MLA of Janak Puri Professor Jagdish Mukhi by over 1,00,000 votes.
East Delhi is with Sandeep Dixit, Sandeep, son of Shiela Dixit Ji is in his second term from this constituency. Sandeep defeated veteran cricketer Chetan Chauhan by over 2,50,000 votes.
North East Delhi is with Jai Prakash Agarwal; Jai Prakash Agarwal has had three terms as MP from Chandni Chowk before he shifted to this newly formed constituency. He defeated BL Sharma Prem, veteran BJP politician of East Delhi and the man credited with finishing political career of Congress big shot and one of the main 1984 accused HKL Bhagat. Jai Prakash Agarwal won by a margin of over 2,00,000 votes.
North West Delhi is with Krishna Tirath; Krishna Tirath defeated BJP’s Meera Kanwaria by over 1,00,000 votes. This is a reserved constituency.
Just putting it all together made me feel horrible about the way Congress has betrayed their mandate, they had a clear ground, the assembly and all seven seats, and today they are left with only 8 assembly seats and may not get even 1 Lok Sabha seat. It is a total loss of connect with people for Congress.
There is no hope for Congress, but there is hope for BJP and that hope is despite AAP and its Jhadu doing sweeping across constituencies. It is a no risk, no gain situation for BJP. BJP must show extreme confidence and determination to win Delhi, they must get their A-team going. Each seat should be given to a candidate who has the best chance to win.
Here is my shortlist which can get BJP at least 4 seats and maybe even all 7.
New Delhi – Arun Jaitley
Chandni Chowk – Vijay Goel
South Delhi – Vijay Kumar Malhotra
West Delhi – Navjot Singh Sidhu
East Delhi -Dr. Harsh Vardhan
North East Delhi – Sushma Swaraj
North West Delhi – Is a reserved seat, BJP can consider repeating Meera Kanwaria or look for a better candidate.
I can understand that BJP stalwarts would be very jittery in getting their hands dirty, but then if they don’t, they may draw a blank again.
This is a very tough battle for BJP nationally, each seat would count. BJP must not hesitate in bringing its top brass to have a complete turnaround. This powerful roll-of-honour of its leaders may also ensure victory in Delhi Assembly, if simultaneous polls are held.
Having done all of this, I am not sure whether BJP has the will required to do this. The way things are, BJP may once again put its B-Team while making their A-Team enter through Rajya Sabha.