With the rift within the Delhi BJP wide open, the party saved an embarrassment bringing out its manifesto on Sunday. It was only towards the fag end that faction-ridden Delhi BJP could come together and release its manifesto in time.
Differences within the members of manifesto committee had delayed the process to the extent that the central leadership had to pull up the Delhi unit and rope in former Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay to complete the job. The manifesto was completed in just four to five days and was approved by BJP president Amit Shah.
Well placed sources said full attendance of the manifesto committee could never be achieved that resulted into lack of coordination and thus delayed the process. It was only in the last week that Upadhyay was roped in to oversee the affairs. The BJP's manifesto committee was convened by West Delhi MP Pravesh Verma while leaders like Dr Harsh Vardhan, Vijay Kumar Malhotra were members of it.
The committee also had the three mayors and former mayors Subhash Arya and Harsh Malhotra as members. "There was an apparent delay in preparation of the manifesto. This was mainly due to lack of coordination among various members of the committee. The delay was such that the central observers had to pitch in who ultimately roped in Upadhyay," said a senior Delhi BJP leader.
WHY THE DELAY?
The lack of coordination was also due to Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari's hectic campaign schedule.
Sources said as the manifesto was getting delayed, a number of announcements made in 2012 were repeated by the BJP in the 2017 'Sankalp Patra'. BJP has promised improving primary education standards to bring them at par with private schools, a promised also made in 2012. Similarly, expansion of civic services was also promised five years ago. Even the much hyped 'Cow protection' is repeated in the sankalp patra from the 2012 manifesto.
In 2012, manifesto BJP had promised that the Delhi's civic bodies will help the charitable societies running the 'Gaushalas' in the city to ensure provision of fodder, veterinary services which is also mentioned in the Sankalp Patra. The party promised to provide meals for Rs 10, besides pledging not to levy any new municipal tax. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had announced the launch of its own canteens which would provide meals for Rs 5 to Rs 10.