OPINION

‘We are all stunned’

Interview with Satish Upadhyay , President of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party

Did you expect such a landslide victory for the Aam Aadmi Party leaving the Bharatiya Janata Party with not even enough seats to have a Leader of Opposition?

This was truly an unexpected result. We will think about it and assess the situation. The mood in Delhi was com'pletely different this time and the party failed to understand the mood of the people. But we respect the mandate. The party congratulates Arvind Kejriwal and this is his day. The party will provide constructive support to the AAP government for Delhi’s development. But it is now up to him to fulfil the promises he made to Delhi.

BJP’s vote share has remained intact but for a slight decrease compared to the 2013 Delhi Assembly polls. What then were the reasons for such a rout?

This is definitely a big defeat and a proper assessment of the situation is required. The fact that our vote share remained the same shows that our party workers were working hard and our support base came out to vote. The AAP benefitted from the shift of Congress votes which fell from nearly 25 per cent in the 2013 Assembly polls down to only about 9 per cent this year.

Who is responsible for this drubbing? Is the induction of Kiran Bedi so late into the election campaign seen as a reason?

As the president of the Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party, I take full responsibility for the defeat of the party. I will not be resigning over the defeat though.

Do you think the negative campaign against AAP harmed the BJP?

We will have to assess the impact…. No words to explain the defeat. We are all stunned. This is a huge disappointment and I don’t even know how to put it in words.

sowmiya.a@thehindu.co.in

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