My assessment went wrong: Amit Shah on Delhi polls

My assessment went wrong: Amit Shah on Delhi election

His comments came two days after BJP suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of AAP

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (PTI Photo)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday broke his silence on Delhi Assembly elections by admitting that his assessment "went wrong" about the outcome even as he said that the controversial remarks by certain leaders like "shoot the traitors" and equating the polls to an India-Pakistan match might not have gone down well with the voters.

Though the BJP, which won just eight out of 70 seats in the Delhi polls, relied heavily on the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests and the Shaheen Bagh agitation in the campaign, Shah refused to see the results as a mandate on the controversial legislation. 

His comments came two days after BJP suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of AAP despite a high-octane campaign based on nationalism and polarisation led by Shah. BJP was hoping to return to power in the national capital after a gap of 22 years and had not left any leaves unturned in the campaign by fielding top guns like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, scores of MPs and senior leaders from outside Delhi.

Speaking at a programme organised by news channel Times Now, he said, "We do not fight elections just for victory or defeat. BJP is a party which believes in expanding its ideology. We didn't lose elections for the first time. We have lost several times -- in Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. I humbly accept we are defeated."

He said that the BJP does not fight elections only for the results, though it is also part of it, and the objective is to spread the party's agenda to maximum people. 

Asked whether the party got it wrong on the outcome, he said, "the assessment went wrong. I have no hesitation in admitting that. Several times my assessment have turned wrong. Once, it went wrong."

On the controversial remarks like like 'goli maro' and 'Indo-Pak match', he said it should not have been made but people should not judge the party because of an individual's speech. "Our party has distanced itself from such remarks," he said adding the BJP may have suffered because of such statements.

While he admitted about Union Minister Anurag Thakur's "shoot the traitors" sloganeering and BJP candidate Kapil Mishra equating the Delhi polls to an "India vs Pakistan" contest, he said no BJP leader made remarks like anti-CAA protesters will enter Delhi houses and rape "sisters and mothers". The Election Commission had removed Verma from the star campaigners list and barred him from campaigning for 96 hours.