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Delhi polls fever reaches crescendo: All's not well with BJP

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New Delhi (Feb. 06, 2015): As the intense and bitter political campaign for the Delhi Assembly elections drew to a close on Thursday evening, the focus for the BJP has shifted to reaching out to the individual voters and getting them out to vote on Saturday.

The saffron party has many reasons to worry  as several factors are working against it -- from pre-poll surveys, consolidation of other Opposition parties behind the AAP to statements of several party leaders that the Delhi elections will not be referendum on Narendra Modi Government.

BJP sources conceded that surveys showing the AAP lead over the BJP was likely to benefit the Arvind Kejriwal-led party as the undecided voters often decide to go with the winning party.

The unflattering surveys forced even Prime Minister Modi to denounce such surveys during his last campaign rally for the Delhi polls on Wednesday.

Sources said senior party leaders involved in election strategy went into a huddle over the last-minute issues, including the surveys.

The party feels that its main vote bank, the middle class, should come out to vote. “It is necessary as other electorate seems to have consolidated behind the AAP.  Barring the Congress, all the other parties like the Left, the JD(U) and even the TMC have publicly announced their support to the AAP,” a senior BJP leader said. It now depends, how the Congress fares in these elections. If it does badly, then it certainly will be advantage AAP, he said.

A senior BJP leader while claiming that the party may get 37 seats,tweeted: “Middle class voters still unenthusiastic. Concern growing.”

The party also tried to downplay Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s comments on Wednesday that the outcome of the Delhi results would not be a referendum on Modi Government. The AAP and the Congress were quick to latch on to the comments saying that the BJP has conceded defeat.

Venkaiah clarified a day later saying, “What I meant was that the PM’s mandate need not be validated in every Assembly election. My comment is being twisted to give a different interpretation by those, who are by now certain of defeat in the upcoming Delhi election.”

Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah said he found nothing wrong in Venkaiah’s comment. Shah said the election in Delhi is indeed to elect a Chief Minister and no state election can be a referendum on the Central government’s performance. He added that the BJP would win the elections with a huge majority.

Sinha turns ‘Shatru’ to BJP

In yet another blow to the saffron party, senior BJP leader and party MP Shatrughan Sinha praised Kejriwal, saying the former Delhi CM has a good image. Sinha’s comment also goes against BJP’s stringent attack on Kejriwal.