Despite the drubbing of the Bharatiya Janata Party and alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal in the Delhi assembly poll results, the BJP and Akali Dal had, in fact, improved on their earlier performance, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said Wednesday.
"The Akali Dal performance in the just concluded assembly elections in Delhi has shown an improvement over previous elections, in terms of both vote-share and the number of votes polled by the party's candidates," Badal said in a statement.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won a brute majority in the 70-member Delhi assembly, winning 67 seats.
The BJP won three seats, including one Akali Dal candidate (who fought on the BJP symbol).
"The sole reason for this increase not being converted into seats was the transfer of all Congress votes to the AAP, disturbing poll arithmetic in other constituencies, including those contested by the Akali Dal," Badal said.
"So complete was the Congress surrender to the AAP that more than 60 Congress candidates lost their security deposits, clearly proving an en masse shift of Congress votes to AAP," he added.
"This is the one lesson that must not be lost in arriving at any conclusions on the Delhi poll results," said Badal.
"But of course we do not mean to undermine the victory of the AAP. We extend whole-hearted congratulations and best wishes to the AAP and its architect Arvind Kejriwal for their impressive showing. We accept the verdict of the people of Delhi in all humility," Badal said.
He said that the Akali Dal would soon analyse the shortcomings of the Akali-BJP alliance in the Delhi polls.