Worrying That We Can’t Read Mood of People, Say BJP Leaders About Delhi


New Delhi:  After its overwhelming defeat in the Delhi election, the BJP’s top leaders said they will introspect to determine why the party managed just three of the capital’s 70 seats. The others were swept in an unprecedented performance for Delhi, by Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).


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“The extent of our massive defeat is painful. What is a worry for us is why we were unable to gauge the mood of the people,” said union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to NDTV. “Why we are losing Delhi again and again is a problem that we must introspect,” he said, speaking candidly.

In the national election last year, the BJP won seven of Delhi’s parliamentary seats. In state election a year ago, the BJP won 31 seats – it had placed first, but was short of a majority and decided not to form the government. Mr Kejriwal then took office as Chief Minister only to quit 49 days later, inciting wide resentment among voters, and forcing repeated public apologies from the AAP leader as he campaigned in recent months for a second chance.

The BJP has said that the result of the election cannot be seen as an indicator of either the PM’s popularity or public perception of his eight months of governance.

The PM, who campaigned heavily for the election, met with top union ministers last night to discuss the Delhi debacle. BJP President Amit Shah was absent – he was at his son’s wedding in Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

Mr Shah, credited with the BJP’s spectacular win in last year’s national election – his big achievement was delivering the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh – supervised the party’s strategy for Delhi. Weeks before voting, he organized the induction of Kiran Bedi in the BJP; she was declared the BJP’s presumptive Chief Minister. Her arrival triggered deep infighting; she lost her constituency yesterday.