Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari’s optimistic outlook of the assembly election results gave way to stoic concession of defeat on Tuesday, as he congratulated AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on the party’s return to power in the capital.
Tiwari, who had earlier in the day said BJP could win as many as 55 seats, said he respected the mandate of the people.
“Thank you to the voters in Delhi. For their hard work. I respect the mandate of the people. Congratulations to Arvind Kejriwal,” he tweeted, minutes after Kejriwal’s victory speech.
On Tuesday afternoon, as trends showed AAP set to form government in Delhi, BJP’s MPs in the capital Gautam Gambhir and Parvesh Singh Verma said they accepted the election results.
Manoj Tiwari, who had begun the day with positive comments about the results, had earlier asked party workers to not be dejected and wait for final results.
For hours afterwards, as results trickled in, the BJP leader did not make a public statement.
Gambhir congratulated Kejriwal on AAP’s victory and said BJP had “tried our best”.
Parvesh Sahib Verma, who had made vitriolic comments about Shaheen Bagh protesters during BJP’s election campaign, also said he accepted the results but deflected blame on the party’s performance.
Verma had been banned from campaigning twice by the EC, the second time for calling Kejriwal a “terrorist”.
At the ending off polling on Saturday, Manoj Tiwari had said he was sure BJP would win 48 seats. He claimed the exit polls would be a “fail”.
On Tuesday morning, as counting began, he told the media, “Now, all talk is over. Now, we have to wait for the blessings of the people. I am confident it will be a good day for BJP. We are coming to power in Delhi today. Don’t be surprised if we win 55 seats,” he said.
Tiwari said preparations for celebration had begun at party offices. He also said he was ready to take responsibilities that the “victory” would bring and hailed the hard work of the party workers who, he said, worked tirelessly for the victory.
Tiwari is a Lok Sabha MP for Northeast Delhi.
According to PTI, exit polls had dampened spirits of the BJP with no arrangements made to celebrate a victory on Tuesday even as the mood was optimistic at AAP’s offices at ITO.
The mood in BJP was different from the one after voting in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Orders for special ‘Motichoor Cake’ and ‘Kamal Barfi’ had been made in advance to celebrate party’s victory after the announcement of results.
Why BJP had said it was confident of win
Despite exit polls favouring an AAP win, Tiwari had said he was confident the saffron party would win more than 45 seats and form government because the exit polls were “rough estimates”.
“Our confidence is based on a micro analysis of all the seats. The exit polls are rough estimates, I am confident that the BJP will form the government in Delhi with full majority,” he had said.
Delhi BJP’s media relations head Neelkant Bakshi had told PTI, “Our own feedback and analysis is contrary to the exit poll results. The exit polls were based on 39% votes polled till 3 PM and did not consider votes cast in last three hours.”
“The exit polls missed the pulse of the people as they did not consider half of the total 62.59% votes polled on Saturday,” he said.