Delhi polls 2020: Will Shah get fence sitters on party’s side? BJP hopes so

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Published: January 29, 2020 2:30:49 am

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The party feels Shah reaching out to them could help give it the edge BJP needs. (PTI Photo/Representational)

Home Minister Amit Shah has held public meetings or road shows at 14 places in the past five days, and the frequency is only going to go up as February 8, the date of polling, approaches. This, leaders said, is because the party believes Shah’s outreach is helping them “strengthen the voter base” and get “fence sitters” on its side.

“There are many demands by karyakartas who want him to come to their area. BJP, being a party of cadres, we first see ourselves as party workers and then as ministers,” said BJP Delhi co-incharge Tarun Chugh.

The in-charge, Shyam Jaju, confirmed that the Home Minister’s schedule will be even busier in the coming days, and he will be travelling across the capital in support of party candidates.

Sources in the party said the reason behind Shah being at the forefront of the campaign is because internal surveys suggest nearly 30% of Delhi’s voters are still “undecided” and have taken a “wait and watch” approach until the polls.

The party feels Shah reaching out to them could help give it the edge BJP needs. “The reason why several exit polls got things wrong in the last two elections was because Delhi voters make up their mind in the last week, so the top leadership wants to take the campaign to the next level as voting day approaches,” said a source.

Sources said Shah is likely to visit Assam on Tuesday, and when he comes back, roadshows and public gatherings have been scheduled in New Delhi, Rajinder Nagar and parts of Outer Delhi.

On an average, the BJP is holding sabhas of around 200 leaders every day, including former chief ministers, MPs and MLAs from other states.

Bihar minister Giriraj Singh and Union Minister Anurag Thakur are among those who have started holding such meetings. Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar are also expected to land in Delhi in the coming days. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also campaigned on Tuesday.

In the last three days, the BJP has organised over 1,000 small public meetings.

In their speeches, Shah and BJP president J P Nadda have been regularly mentioning the new citizenship law, and blaming AAP and Congress for creating confusion over it. A senior BJP leader said that since Delhi is the epicentre of anti-CAA protests, the party is giving it everything in the run-up to the polls.

Another leader said the party’s survey has shown that voters react differently when they hear the same things being said by Shah or PM Narendra Modi versus a local leader.

“Even if we share his video through mobile phones, it will not have the same impact. That is the reason you will see a lot of repetition in the speeches, because we want those things to be said by him directly,” said the leader, adding that visits by top leaders keep the cadre motivated.

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