Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led the celebrations at the BJP headquarters, describing the Gujarat victory as “unprecedented” and playing down the defeat in Himachal Pradesh by clutching onto the small difference in vote share with the Congress.
“In places where we didn’t directly win, the BJP’s vote share reflects people’s love for the BJP,” Modi told party workers at the BJP headquarters, citing the results in Himachal and even the Delhi corporation polls.
“The vote share showed that people tried to make the BJP victorious,” he added.
Modi said that never in Himachal’s electoral history had the vote-share difference between the winner and the loser been less than 1 per cent.
“It has always been 5 per cent, 6 per cent or 7 per cent”, he added.
The Congress’s vote share in Himachal was 43.9 per cent while that of the BJP 43 was per cent.
Modi also used the results of by-elections in some seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to claim that the BJP continued to be the first preference of the voters.
He said the BJP’s win in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur, a Muslim-dominated seat, and in Kudhni in Bihar indicated the mood of the people.
The Prime Minister also sought to play the victim, referring to the 2002 pogrom. He told party leaders he had been facing attacks since 2002 but had chosen to keep moving ahead with a positive mindset.
He told party leaders that the attacks on him and other BJP leaders would mount after the poll results, and asked them to develop tolerance and maintain a connection with the people.