Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who made comments that "deviated from our main theme of development" contributed to the party's humiliating defeat in Bihar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said to NDTV today.
Below are the highlights of his interview:
- We've discussed what went wrong at preliminary level. I think principal reason is that when 3 major parties come together, arithmetic suits them. We had thought development agenda and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's impact will create new chemistry that'll ride over arithmetic, as in Lok Sabha polls but that didn't happen
- Opponents may have the ability to misinterpret comments. RSS was never against reservation but Opposition can misinterpret comments
- When you lose polls, you start searching for reasons. There could be several. I think main reason was arithmetic.
- Making Prime Minister Narendra Modi face of Bihar campaign was not a mistake
- Nitish Kumar had large acceptability, his personality did impact. Lalu Yadav had a strong vote base
- Statements which deviated from BJP's main theme of development affected the party in Bihar
- I can assure you that as far as I'm concerned that for the next two years, I have my agenda laid out.
- Most decision required to take for the economy are through the Executive
- Indian Parliament is a responsible institution. Our friends discuss and delay, but the bills are passed. The only one under discussion is the constitutional amendment to GST.
- Bihar is going to be the maximum beneficiary as a consuming state, if Nitish Kumar as a responsible leader, who has been elected on the plank of development needs more revenue. I don't see any reason that he will decide that his party will change its stand on GST just because they are in alliance with the Congress.
- I am going to reach out to everybody including Nitish Kumar.
- GST will get through, it's only a matter of time.
- I think we got used to seeing a Prime Minister not campaigning for 10 years. A Prime Minister should campaign.
- No election is won or lost on one factor, there could be several contributing factors. Either the BJP or its leaders or the RSS, nothing adverse to the campaign that they have done
- I have rarely seen a party president who puts himself in a state and campaigns in every district.
- The victory belongs to all of us and the loss belongs to all of us.
- There is no empirical evidence to suggest that Amit Shah's remark (Firecrackers will be burst in Pakistan) was responsible for the loss
- The fact that this government is on the correct course, is being accepted the world over
- India is tolerant. Some unfortunate incidents take place, but that doesn't make India an intolerant society.
- My view is very clear, we have a clear mandate as far governance is concerned.
- We are conscious of political problems and we will try to move ahead with executive and legislative reforms
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