Post its shaming defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections, BJP attracted criticism from the opposition parties as well as from one of its allies.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa believes that certain party decisions and contemptuous remarks by BJP Parliamentarians led to its humiliating downfall in the national capital.
Sirsa, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member who lost his Rajouri Garden seat to AAP leader Jarnail Singh by a huge margin of votes, blames BJP MP Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for his defeat. Jyoti had recently made a controversial remark during a public address.
Sirsa pointed out Jyoti's "ramzaadon-vs-haramzaadon" comment, which was made in his presence. "The language she (Jyoti) used is not acceptable to anyone. It immediately alienated Muslim voters of my constituency," The Indian Express quoted Sirsa as saying.
"Of the 9,000 Muslim votes, I got only 107, the rest went to AAP. Of the 4,400 Valmiki votes, AAP got 3,000 and the rest got divided between me and the Congress candidate. What she (Jyoti) said helped no one at all," he added.
He believes that it was due to her remark that the constituency he had won in 2013 slipped out of his hand this year as people of Delhi were not at all impressed with the provoking statement she had made that day.
"In Delhi, people are educated. They believe in secular tolerance and in everybody's right to practice their religion. Fundamentalist views don't go down well with them," Sirsa said.
He went on to blame the party itself for its humiliating defeat in the 2015 Delhi elections. Sirsa said BJP's decision to put forward Kiran Bedi as the face of the party for the elections was a mistake. He even expressed his disappointment at the party top heads for not consulting the MLAs before taking this major decision.
"They brought in Kiran Bedi and declared her the CM candidate. What was the point? Did anyone benefit? They brought in MLAs and MPs who had lost, like Krishna Tirath from Congress. What message were they trying to convey? They never consulted individual MLAs before taking these decisions," he said.
"Individual MLAs weren't consulted about ground realities. I had not asked for her (Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti) to come and campaign for me. The BJP at the Centre decided what issues the Delhi campaign should be fought on. The AAP went from house-to-house and individual MLAs were consulted," Sirsa added.
He also condemned the BJP for accepting support from Dera Sacha Sauda sect, which had evoked controversy over a film – MSG: The Messenger of God – starring their chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
"How can the BJP take support from Dera Sacha Sauda before consulting us? We are their allies, we're helping them in Haryana and Punjab. Yet I learn from others that it is taking support from Dera Sacha Sauda. I put out ads in newspapers and told the media that we were against the group. But it was already too late," Sirsa said.
"If I had known that they'd be taking support from him (Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim) before I filed my nomination, I wouldn't have contested. I contested only because I didn't want to be called a bhagoda (absconder)," he added.