Tiwari’s predecessors used to accord due importance to minority morcha by nominating a Muslim leader as its head.
New Delhi: In what seems to be an attempt to polarise the Hindu-Muslim voters ahead of the civic elections, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari has not formed minority morcha in his recent revamp of the party’s organisational structure. In the past, Mr Tiwari’s predecessors used to accord due importance to minority morcha by nominating a Muslim leader as its head.
This time, Mr Tiwari has reconstituted morchas for women, youth, farmers, Poorvanchali’s and the SC community, but he has not set up the minority morcha led by a Muslim leader, which comprise about 12 per cent of the city’s total population. Mr Tiwari has even set up a new morcha for the OBCs, which consists of about 30 per cent of the city’s voters. Mr Tiwari’s move to exclude the minority morcha in his organisational revamp is being interpreted in local political circles as his ploy to polarise voters and to unite Hindus in support of the saffron brigade. Muslims play a decisive role in about 15 Assembly constituencies in the city. “Mr Tiwari knows for sure that Muslims are not going to vote for the BJP. That’s precisely why he is not according any priority to this community,” a local saffron leader told this newspaper. The BJP leader said that Mr Tiwari has also sent a clear message that Muslims do not figure on his priority list. Asked for his comments, all that the party’s general secretary, Ravinder Gupta, had to offer was: “We will form the morcha only after we are able to find a suitable person to lead it.”
The forthcoming municipal poll is going to be a testing time for the BJP as the party will be facing a triangular contest with newbie AAP emerging as a major political player in the national capital.
The saffron party will also be facing an anti-incumbency factor as it has been running the civic bodies for 10 consecutive years.
Spin doctors think that the Congress will be pulling all its strings to make a comeback as the party was not able to win even a single seat in the 70-member Assembly after ruling the city for 15 consecutive years. The civic elections are not only going to be a do or die battle for Congress, it will also be a sort of referendum on the AAP government’s two-year performance in Delhi.
There is also a strong possibility that the Congress may retain a chunk of voters it had lost to AAP in the 2013 Assembly polls. “If there is a strong fight between the Congress and the AAP, it is by default going to benefit the BJP. That’s precisely why Mr Tiwari’s game plan is to polarise voters to gain an upper edge for his party,” a local BJP functionary told this newspaper.
There are 272 wards in 68 of the 70 Assembly seats in Delhi. The Muslim community had emerged as the most ardent supporter of AAP in the last Assembly poll. The level of Muslim support received by AAP — about 77 per cent — was perhaps unprecedented in the Delhi’s recent electoral history which ultimately resulted in the AAP winning 9 of the 10 seats where Muslims were over 30 per cent of the population. Mustafabad was the only Assembly segment where the Congress finished ahead of AAP, a division of votes which saw BJP winning.