Delhi Assembly elections are likely to be held in February.
NEW DELHI: Changing its earlier stand of not announcing any chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Assembly elections in Delhi, the BJP has now reportedly decided to announce its candidate in the first week of January.
The change in the party’s strategy is primarily being interpreted in the political circles as a ploy by the BJP to go in for a direct face-off with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal whose party had swept the previous state polls by winning 67 of the 70 Assembly seats.
The Delhi Assembly polls are scheduled for February. Earlier, the BJP had planned not to announce its chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi Assembly elections.
In first week of December, BJP vice- president Shyam Jaju had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be the face of the party, which would nominate the chief minister after winning the elections.
However, sources in the party told this newspaper that now there is a consensus among top Central leadership to announce the chief ministerial candidate.
“Top leadership of party has decided to give a chief ministerial face for Delhi assembly polls and it will be likely be announced in the first week of January," said a Delhi BJP core committee member.
A party insider aware of the development said that the name of a Lok Sabha member from the national capital is being considered by the party’s Central leadership.
“Name of a Lok Sabha MP, who has won this year parliamentary election for second term, has been discussed and finalized as the chief ministerial face of the party for the state polls,” he added.
A senior Delhi BJP office bearer said that the chief ministerial face should be announced as it will definitely benefit the party in the polls.
“In the absence of a chief ministerial face, voters sometimes get confused. And in the larger interest of the party and to directly take on Arvind Kejriwal and his party, BJP must announce a popular face as its chief ministerial candidate,” he added.
Another section in the BJP city unit, however, believes that the announcement of the chief ministerial candidate will increase factionalism within the party.
The BJP had nominated senior party leaders Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Dr Harsh Vardhan and former cop Kiran Bedi as its chief ministerial candidates in 2008, 2013 and 2015 Delhi Assembly polls respectively.