NEW DELHI, December 9: Buoyed by its impressive show in the Assembly polls in four heartland States, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday said the results should be seen as a bellwether of national mood ahead of the 2014 general elections.
Addressing a crowded press conference at the party headquarters here, after a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board which reviewed the election outcome, the party president, Rajnath Singh, said the people had sent an explicit message — they wanted the Congress out. The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was among those who attended the meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body.
“The results are also an indication of the growing popularity of our prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi,’’ the BJP chief said. Though Mr. Modi arrived at the party headquarters on Sunday to a rousing reception from jubilant party cadres, he did not come out to address the media.
Mr. Singh attributed the big win to the popularity of Mr. Modi, which worked along with the support for the projected Chief Ministers of the States. In Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the party was expected to face an anti-incumbency vote but the results had proved that the people in the States voted for “good governance.”
“The Congress has tried to portray Rajasthan as a good governance model but the party had to face defeat. People recognise that it is the BJP that provides good governance,” Mr. Singh said. He was confident that the BJP would form the government in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.
On whether the party would stake its claim to form the government in Delhi, , Mr. Singh said: “We are the single largest party in Delhi, we are confident of forming the government.” He declined to comment on the possibility of reaching out to the Aam Aadmi Party.
Commenting on the AAP’s astonishing performance in Delhi, the BJP chief said: “The Congress was in power for 15 years and there was an anti-incumbency factor. The AAP was the biggest beneficiary of the anti-incumbency vote.”
Asked whether it was the Modi effect — his popularity and campaigning — that helped change the BJP’s fortunes in Rajasthan and Delhi, Mr. Singh said: “On the basis of our analysis, we have come to the conclusion that the party has benefited from Mr. Modi’s popularity, but the popularity of all the four projected Chief Ministers, Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in Delhi, Dr. Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh, also helped.”
Citing numbers, a visibly happy Mr. Singh said the party had done incredibly well in all the four States, dismissing speculation about the vote share having dipped in some places.
The BJP Parliamentary Board also cleared the names of leaders who would be sent as observers to oversee the election of leaders by the Legislature Party in the four States.
While Sushma Swaraj and Rajiv Pratap Rudy will head to Madhya Pradesh with Ananth Kumar; Venkaiah Naidu, J.P. Nadda with Dharmendra Prasad will be in-charge of Chhattisgarh. Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah and K.S. Solanki will head to Rajasthan and Nitin Gadkari and T.C. Gehlot will oversee the process in Delhi.