In his first public statement since the assembly results to five states were announced last week, BJP national president Amit Shah said that the party will introspect its losses in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as it is “imperative” for both party and country that it wins the 2019 polls in the Hindi heartland.
He said the recent results were not favourable for the party but they do not set a precedent for the general elections.
“The results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were definitely not favourable for BJP, but it is not right to link them with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. State polls can’t be linked to Lok Sabha poll results as both elections are fought on separate issues,” Shah said at a Republic TV event in Mumbai.
“We accept the people’s mandate; we will introspect on the poll results…It is imperative not only for the BJP but also for the country that the BJP wins the next elections in the Hindi heartland and other areas,” he added.
Shah also said talks were underway with alliance partner Shiv Sena ahead of the 2019 elections. Ties between the two allies have been strained in the last few years. “I am sure the Shiv Sena will be with us in 2019 Lok Sabha elections; talks are on (with them),” he said.
On the Opposition grand alliance, he said: “The reality of opposition mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) is different. It doesn’t exist and is a bhranti (illusion).”
The Congress wrested power from the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh after 15 years. It emerged as the single largest party in both states winning 114 and 68 seats respectively. The BJP won 109 seats in MP and only 15 in Chhattisgarh. In Rajasthan, the Congress won 99 seats in the 199-member House, while the BJP garnered only 73.
The BJP was unsuccessful in consolidating its position in Mizoram and Telangana as well, the other two states where Assembly elections were held. It won only one seat in both Houses. And the Congress lost power in Mizoram, its last northeast bastion, and fared poorly in Telangana despite an alliance with three parties including the TDP.