In 2019, just after the Lok Sabha elections, BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari, in an interview to The Indian Express, said: “Desh me Modi, Delhi me Bhajapa, tabhi banegi baat, Delhi bhi chalegi Modi ke saath.”
This morning, as counting of votes began in the national capital, Tiwari exuded confidence. “Don’t be surprised if we win 55 seats,” he told reporters as the first trends of the Delhi Assembly election results emerged.
In the first few rounds of counting, the BJP saw some hope of at least winning 20 seats, if not coming close to the halfway mark of 36. However, that hope was short lived. By 11 am, a clear trend began to emerge — the Aam Aadmi Party was racing ahead with what was later going to be a victory much more than a clear majority.
Tiwari, not one to lose hope, once again emerged before reporters: “There are 27 seats where the difference of votes is between 700 to 1,000,” he said. This, as the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters on Rose Avenue saw sweets being distributed. No fireworks, though as Kejriwal had clearly ordered.
For the BJP, the number only began dwindling. Tiwari’s bet on the close margin seats did not go in his favour and the Aam Aadmi Party, one by one, closed the gap in the last few rounds of counting.
At 4 pm, the BJP was staring at a win in seven seats, up four from 2015, but nowhere near the 55 the BJP state chief had so confidently projected. The only positive for the party was a 20 per cent jump in its vote share — from 32.2 per cent to 38.7 per cent as of now. Tiwari immediately accepted defeat and congratulated Kejriwal.
“Thank you to all the voters of Delhi. Thank you to all the workers for their hard work… Whole heartedly accept the mandate of the people of Delhi. Congratulations Arvind Kejriwal ji…” he tweeted.
On Saturday, speaking to reporters after casting his vote, a confident Tiwari had said the BJP would end the 22-year wait. “We have been waiting for our victory for the past few years. My sixth sense is saying that BJP will form the government. BJP will form the government in Delhi by winning by more than 50 seats.”
While Tiwari conceded defeat, his sixth sense, it appears, failed him.