In move that triggered speculations just a couple of days before the crucial MCD polls, the public meeting of BJP president Amit Shah in southwest Delhi on Thursday was cancelled.
While the Delhi BJP did not officially cite any reason behind cancelling the rally, top sources said Shah chose to opt out at the last moment.
Speculations got further strength as BJP vice-president and former co-incharge in Delhi, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe held a close-door meeting with the senior most Delhi BJP leaders on Thursday to chalk out the final strategy.
However, insiders claimed the ground reports from all three municipal corporations were also discussed threadbare in the meeting. Several BJP veterans like VK Malhotra, HS Balli, Mewa Ram Arya and Ram Bhaj who were sidelined from poll management, were called for the meeting.
WHAT IS HAPPENING
Senior BJP councilor Subhash Arya and Arvinder Singh Lovely, who joined BJP on Tuesday, all attended the meeting. A BJP leader who attended the meeting told Mail Today that Sahasrabuddhe asked BJP leaders to ensure that its traditional vote bank remained intact. Further party's strategy for the final three days was chalked out.
The three MCDs in Delhi will go to polls on April 23. Shah was scheduled to address a public meeting in Dwarka in southwest Delhi on Thursday evening. This was the only rally of Shah for the civic polls. Interestingly, the BJP president was personally monitoring party's preparations for the high-stake MCD polls right from the distribution of tickets to campaigning and poll management. However, the public meetings of union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani were conducted as scheduled.
WHY DID AMIT SHAH BACK OUT?
A senior BJP leader said the decision to cancel the meeting was taken after a meeting with senior leaders who opined that the top leaders of BJP should stay away from campaigning. A party leader also claimed that the public meetings of other BJP leaders so far had not seen great support and hence, it could be embarrassing for the BJP president.
"It was decided that BJP president Amit Shah should not campaign and instead it should be left up to the state leaders and some cabinet ministers," a senior leader said. Earlier, the party high-command had also turned down Delhi BJP's request for public meetings of popular BJP CMs like Yogi Adityanath and Manohar Parrikar. Instead, Shah had agreed to address a public rally in Delhi in the last leg of campaigning. BJP's campaign has mostly been revolving round Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari and Bhojpuri star Ravi Kishan.