- Arvind Kejriwal in an open letter claimed two reasons for AAP's poll loss
- Atmosphere that prevailed in the country rubbed off on Delhi too, he said
- He said voters saw the polls as a fight between PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi
Arvind Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party chief, has steered clear of the blame for his party's crushing defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election. In an open letter, Mr Kejriwal today listed two reasons that he said were responsible for the debacle - one of them was that voters saw the polls as a fight between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
"The results didn't meet our expectations. Post election ground analysis has revealed two major reasons. First, the atmosphere that prevailed in the country rubbed off on Delhi as well. Second, people saw this 'big election' as between Modi and Rahul and voted accordingly," he wrote in an open letter.
Mr Kejriwal's party contested in 40 Lok Sabha constituency, but could win only one in Punjab. In Delhi, where the AAP is in power, the BJP swept the polls, winning all seven seats.
"Whatever be the reason, we were not able to explain to the public why they should vote for us in this big election," Mr Kejriwal further said.
The AAP had made a stunning foray into the national politics. In 2014, the party ended up second on all seats in Delhi. They won four Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. In the 2015 assembly polls, the party won 67 out of the 70 seats.
Mr Kejriwal hopes for a repeat of AAP's 2015 performance in the Delhi assembly elections, due next year.
"...people have been enthusiastically assuring us that in the small election for Delhi Vidhan Sabha, they will vote in the name of the incredible work we have done in Delhi," he further wrote.
The BJP won a massive mandate, bagging 303 out of 542 seats. The Congress repeated its dismal show, winning only 52. Its chief Rahul Gandhi is insisting on stepping down.