Were you confident about winning right from the beginning?
I was extremely sure, and was expecting to win. In fact, I felt we would win on 45 seats. We have now won on 43. But there was so much negative campaigning by our opponents, and even the media was supporting that impression. We felt that perhaps we had overestimated ourselves.
Many people said this was a script written, directed and meant to be enacted by the chief minister… senior party leaders were sidelined, not consulted during selections…
(Smiles, shakes her head) No, that is not true. Everybody’s suggestions were considered.
You were one of the few Congress leaders very confident of a victory. Was it a seasoned politician’s assessment or simply the faith that development as a poll plank, supported by work, would see you through?
No, it was the considered assessment of a person who had been working in the field and was very connected to people and responses on the ground.
In the face of BJP’s attack, you did not really flaunt your achievements so much…
There was no need. The work is there for all to see. People see it everyday on the roads, around them. You have a nose. You know it. We didn’t have to remind people. They had made up their own minds.
Do you see this as an exceedingly positive examination result?
Not an examination… but this was certainly a very tough litmus test.