The rout of BJP in the Delhi election is unlikely to prompt open rebellion in the party against the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah leadership, but it has already blown lid off the voices of dissent that have been brewing among the "disregarded" seasoned, old guards within the party. The murmurs in the party against some of the decisions taken by the Modi-Shah leadership grew louder when the exit poll results predicted a BJP defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Senior BJP leaders who have been keeping their grievances to themselves for the last nine months, suddenly started calling up each other and talked about the "mistakes" that had been made by the party leadership or just asking "what is happening?" as the first signs of breaking the silence that had taken over since the new regime came to office.
These were seasoned old hands in the party and the government, who have been kept out of BJP's decision making processes, campaigning and even ignored for party posts of election tickets in the new system, who are no longer part of the "collective" decision making process that the party has traditionally followed.
Over the last three days, the voices of protest are getting louder even if it is in hushed tones so far, but the leaders are planning to put their grievances and criticisms across at party fora, now that the opportunity has come up after party has got it first major drubbing in the Delhi elections ending up with just three out of 70 seats.
"If this kind of defeat is not talked about we will be doing disservice to the party for which we have been working for 30-40 years. If we do not talk about the flaws now, when do we raise the issues," remarked a senior party leader, adding that "we will not speak out in public but we will have to talk about things in closed door meetings if we want BJP to survive in Delhi and even elsewhere."
According to party sources, the arrogance and even misbehaviour of Delhi MPs except Harsh Vardhan and Pravesh Verma with people in the party workers saw lack of cooperation from cadres in the Delhi elections. There is also allegation from within the party of it having turned into a party of the rich and disconnected with the poor that resulted in the total rejection by the people.
"Why did you remove Dr Harsh Vardhan from the health ministry if there were no plans to make him the CM candidate," said a top central party leader.
While BJP's Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad was the only one to protest openly in front of the media on Tuesday against the manner in which the Delhi elections were conducted, the others are preparing to take up the issue at party meetings that will dwell on the election results and analyse BJP's first defeat since its Lok Sabha victory, under the Modi-Shah command.