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Did Hindutva Overdrive Cost BJP Delhi Elections? Party Unlikely To Amend Path As Elections In Bihar, Bengal Loom

Over 6,500 public meetings and campaigning by senior leaders like Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Yogi Adityanath didn't influence Delhi voters but the BJP is unlikely to change its Hindutva track

Did Hindutva Overdrive Cost BJP Delhi Elections? Party Unlikely To Amend Path As Elections In Bihar, Bengal Loom
Photograph by Getty Images
Did Hindutva Overdrive Cost BJP Delhi Elections? Party Unlikely To Amend Path As Elections In Bihar, Bengal Loom
outlookindia.com
2020-02-14T12:35:26+05:30

The BJP hired a Mumbai-based agency to do a survey as the party launched its Delhi campaign. The constituency-wise survey gave the party eight seats. That’s when Amit Shah decided to take charge and turned the campaign into a saffron blitzkrieg. The party held 6,577 public meetings, including 52 roadshows—the bulk of them in the last 13 days as Shah went door-to-door, handing out pamphlets. The focus was on the Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest with PM Narendra Modi calling it a “prayog” (experiment) to divide the country. Party chief J.P. Nadda addressed 40 meetings. Union ministers such as Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad also joined the campaign with 250 MPs, while UP CM Yogi Adityanath and young leaders like Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma delivered vitriolic speeches. A mid-­campaign review by the Mumbai-based agency gave 22-25 seats to the BJP, suggesting the strategy seemed to be working, but the final tally on February 11 exactly matched the earlier prediction of eight seats. The aggressive Hindutva pitch, however, is unlikely to...

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