Yet again, Modi prevailed over the BJP, and this time in Delhi. Dumping LK Advani’s choice Vijay Goel, Narendra Modi chose a credible face like Dr. Harsh Vardhan to take on Sheila Dikshit (Congres) and Arvind Kejriwal (AAP). All opinion polls had clearly favoured the duo ahead of Vijay Goel in CM’s race.
There was a growing demand to project Harsh Vardhan in Delhi although Vijay Goel always enjoyed a clean image. He was never considered as a leader with mass appeal. The BJP did not want to repeat the mistake of 2008 when it badly lost under the leadership of VK Malhotra.
This is true that Advani always favoured Vijay Goel. But, off late, Advani, Sushma and Jaitley had been in favour of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, as they too gauged the mood of the public and cadres. Under Vijay Goel, who was appointed as the Delhi BJP Chief in February 2013, the BJP hardly made any progress. Rather, it started losing the ground to Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party.
Goel’s biggest blunder was his reluctance to take other BJP leaders in Delhi along with him, which resulted in widespread discontent among the cadres. That probably worked against him. The central leadership agreed that Vijay Goel is a good leader and organiser, but he was definitely not the one, who could make a big difference in Delhi elections with his leadership and mass appeal. It would be interesting to see whether Harsh Vardhan can fulfill the aspirations of the BJP or not.