As exit polls pointed to a comfortable victory for the AAP in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the BJP performance and discussed the political situation in Bihar at a meeting with party leaders at his residence Saturday evening.
Sources said BJP president Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, and party general secretary Ram Lal attended the meeting. It is learnt that they discussed the party prospects after Delhi saw a record voter turnout.
Shah later headed to the party office where he went into another huddle with leaders.
Later, Union Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters: “The cadre has worked hard and we all are witness to it. People have voted in favour of BJP and we should wait until February 10. We are sure we will form the government.”
But others at the party office were not so sure. By evening, most spokespersons and leaders had left. One who was still around conceded: “Exit polls may differ marginally but all polls are giving a clear victory to AAP. I think they (the leadership) have accepted defeat. The focus now seems to have shifted to Bihar politics.”
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Those at the meeting with Shah included Nirmala Sitharaman, Ananth Kumar, Ram Lal, J P Nadda, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pardhan. Jitendra Singh too turned up later.
Goyal maintained that the party would get approximately 40 seats. Asked what if the BJP is defeated, he said Kiran Bedi will then become Leader of Opposition.
Meanwhile, Bedi rejected the exit poll results even as she spoke of taking “full responsibility” in the event of a party defeat. Speaking to reporters, she thanked the BJP for reposing “faith” in her, wondering what the party “saw in her”. “I am sure the results will change if the surveys take into account voting post 3 pm. They are incomplete as the turnout from 3 pm to 6 pm has not been included. Then the verdict may go in BJP’s favour,” she said.