The news about Adesh Kumar Gupta replacing actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari as the Delhi BJP president came as a surprise to many. Journalists who cover the BJP started gathering information about this unknown and low profile face. They found that it is the same Adesh Kumar Gupta who is a former north Delhi Mayor and a councillor from West Patel Nagar.
Delhi BJP IT Cell and social-media co-in charge Neelkant Bakshi does not agree that Adesh Kumar Gupta is low profile. He said, “Adesh Gupta has been a ground level leader in Delhi. He has been mayor of north Delhi. The party will be greatly benefited in the next election. After his appointment as Delhi BJP chief, it has been proved once again that the BJP is the only party where an ordinary worker can rise to the top by his sheer hard work. The same is not true of other political parties like the Congress.”
There were three contenders for the Delhi BJP top post — two MPs and an MLA. Then why did the party choose a junior level leader ignoring other high profile ones? Five reasons why Adesh Kumar Gupta was appointed Delhi BJP chief.
1. Not a part of any faction
The biggest challenge for the BJP in Delhi was to get rid of factionalism. At present, at least four groups in Delhi BJP being patronised by former unit presidents or MPs and MLAs are active. Manoj Tiwari, who was always seen as an outsider, was dealing with different factions all through his tenure as the BJP chief. This had a negative impact in the assembly elections. Now the BJP has taken a chance on someone who is not seen with any faction. A BJP leader said, “Adesh Kumar Gupta does not belong to any faction. He is humble and has no adversary in the party. The BJP has given him the charge of Delhi with a belief that he will rid the party of factionalism in the state. Let’s see if he succeeds or not.”
2. Eye on traders community
The BJP sources say that the national capital has around 25 per cent votes of the traders community. Though this community has been the traditional vote bank of the BJP, but Arvind Kejriwal has been able to dent this to a great extent as the Delhi chief minister himself belongs to this community. Kejriwal also gave two of the three Rajya Sabha seats to businessmen belonging to the traders community in 2018 with the aim to garner the support of this 25 per cent vote bank. About two dozen assembly seats in Delhi are greatly influenced by the traders community including Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazar, Karol Bagh, Trinagar.
3. Mission 2022 MCD elections
Municipal elections in Delhi will be held in April 2022. Adesh Kumar Gupta, who is a former mayor of north Delhi and at present a councillor from West Patel Nagar, enjoys great local support. The party has always been on the winning side in MCD elections. In 2017, the BJP swept the municipal elections under Manoj Tiwari. Now Gupta has a challenge before him to continue the winning streak as he greatly understands the politics at the ground level. Gupta has also been a member of the NDMC standing committee.
4. An organisation man
Adesh Gupta has a long experience of working in the party’s organisation. He worked with the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the 90s along with the current BJP president J.P. Nadda. He has been president of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), a youth wing of the party. He has been associated with Delhi politics for the last two decades. Party sources say the top leadership appointed Gupta as Delhi BJP chief keeping in mind his ability to work in the organisation and strengthen it on the ground.
5. The UP connection
The UP connection is also believed to be one of the reasons why Gupta was chosen as Delhi BJP chief. A large number of people from Uttar Pradesh reside in Delhi. The party has an eye on them as Gupta can exercise a great deal of influence on these voters. He hails from Kannauj and came to Delhi in 1997 to work as a contractor. Since then he has been a resident of Delhi.