Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party's huge victory lauded by the opposition as a mandate against divisiveness and hatred, the BJP today said it did not practice the "politics of hatred". "We will introspect on the reasons for defeat," state party chief Manoj Tiwari said, accepting responsibility for the party's poor performance.
"We believe in Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. A lot of things are said during the election according to the environment. But we have never wanted nor will we ever want that for 60 days a road is blocked. We were against that yesterday and we will it tomorrow," added Mr Tiwari, who predicted this morning that his party would win 55 seats.
The BJP's massive campaign, which involved most of its 270 parliamentarians, 70 ministers and state leaders, did not translate into votes.
Though the party is expected to win seven seats - slightly above the three it won in 2015, but far short of the 14 predicted in the exit polls. AAP is expected to win 63 of the 70 assembly seats, a shade lower than their score of 67 in 2015.
The BJP - hopeful about its performance following the seven-out-of-seven score in the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi - had spun its campaign in the last phase around the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests.
Over the last weeks, a section of its leaders including some union ministers, had advocated violence against "traitors" and "anti-nationals" - words that have been applied to hundreds of women, children, students and civil society protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was called a "terrorist" and accused of aiding anti-nationals - "serving biryani in Shaheen Bagh" was how BJP's start campaigner Yogi Adiyanath put it.
As the huge mandate to AAP became clear, then Opposition leaders today said the results indicated that the people have rejected the BJP's brand of politics.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said AAP's victory signalled the beginning of a "new kind of politics". "People of Delhi have given a message that they will vote for schools, mohalla clinics, 24-hour electricity and free water. This is a great message for the country," he said.
Earlier, party chief JP Nadda said the BJP would "fulfil the role of a constructive opposition".
"The BJP accepts the people's mandate and will fulfil the role of a constructive opposition. We will raise all issues related to the development of Delhi. With the belief that the Aam Aadmi Party government will work for Delhi's development, I congratulate Arvind Kejriwal and his party," the 59-year-old who took over from, Amit Shah recently as the party chief, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.