Accepting its “massive defeat” in Delhi assembly polls with all humility, BJP on Tuesday said it is a “big setback” for the party and admitted that it failed to gauge the mood of the people.
Stating that it will honestly introspect the reasons for the defeat, the BJP also said that the loss in Delhi is a “collective failure” of the party and the defeat cannot be thrown on any single individual, seen as an attempt to deflect any blame on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also hoped that the party will resurrect after seriously looking into the reasons.
The party congratulated AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal on his party’s landslide victory and hoped he will fulfil the promises made by him ahead of polls and assured the Centre’s support to his government in Delhi without any political discrimination.
“We have lost badly. We accept our massive defeat with all humility. We will seriously look into the reasons. We probably feel we have faulted in gauging the mood of the people of Delhi. We will seriously think about it and take a comprehensive review of the reasons that led to this defeat,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He said the Narendra Modi government treats everyone equally without any political discrimination and the same principle will apply in Delhi.
“We will work as a constructive opposition and will oppose whereever required,” he said.
Prasad said that with Congress decimated to zero in these polls, it was a matter of concern for the oldest party of the country. “I leave it to the Congress to introspect. It is their internal matter,” he said.
Party general secretary P Murlidhar Rao said, “BJP’s defeat in Delhi elections is a collective failure of our party. It cannot be thrown on any single individual. We all own the loss. Election results for Delhi state is a setback for BJP.”
BJP Spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, “It is a big setback for us. We will assess the reasons of the defeat. We accept the verdict of the people and hope Kejriwal fulfils his promises made to people. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said,the Centre will extend all its help to Delhi government.”
BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the party accepts the verdict of people and hoped Kejriwal will provide people of Delhi clean water, 24-hour power and security of women, besides in-situ development of jhuggis.
The mood at the BJP headquarters was sombre since morning when initial trends started to pour in and indicated a clear victory for AAP.
None of the NDA ministers visited the party headquarters today, except for party spokespersons and Prasad, who came in the evening to accept BJP’s humiliating defeat and face the media. BJP’s Delhi office also wore a deserted look.
This was unlike during campaign days when most of the Ministers thronged party office and addressed a number of press conferences everyday.
While BJP chief Amit Shah was away to Ahmedabad for his son’s wedding, BJP general Secretary Ram Lal and Delhi incharge Prabhat Jha, besides party’s Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay were also present.
As BJP leaders kept insisting that they will analyse the results and take corrective measures to revive the party, a senior leader refusing to identify himself said, this is a defeat of the “arrogance” of present BJP.
Murlidhar Rao said since Haryana elections, where BJP got a majority, has not impacted Delhi polls. “Why Delhi elections will impact BJP in other states”.
“Extending the verdict of Delhi elections to unrelated issues is like stretching too far. Central government performance was not the election issue,” he said.
Another BJP Spokesperson Nalin Kohli said the party will assess the reasons why the party failed to appeal to Delhi voters and hoped Kejriwal will fulfill all the promises made.
“It is a huge victory for AAP. BJP would certainly assess what were the reasons that we have not been able to appeal to the voters of Delhi. We wish well for AAP for delivering on the promises made and give Delhi a good government,” he said.
Party’s Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay admitted that the party failed to understand the mood of the people.
“We accept the mandate given by the people of Delhi. We failed to understand the mood of the people. BJP will continue to serve the people as it had been doing in the past. I congratulate Kejriwal on his victory,” Upadhyay said.
Party spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao said the polls were a referendum on Kejriwal and could not be seen as reflection on the performance of the Modi government as local issues dominated the polls.
“I do not see in this way,” he said when asked whether the elections were a referendum on Modi’s performance.
“In this election it was a referendum on Arvind Kejriwal. That’s how people of Delhi saw it. I think people have certainly voted for Kejriwal. It was a referendum of AAP’s 49 days in office and its performance. People felt they should be given a chance,” he said.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav also congratulated Kejriwal for his victory in the Delhi polls.