Despite losing to Narendra Modi by a margin of over 3.71 lakh votes, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal is overwhelmed by the response of Kashites.
"I have received lot of love and affection from people of Kashi. I want to continue my association with them," Kejriwal said before leaving for New Delhi after counting of votes in Varanasi.
Kejriwal secured 2,09,167 votes against Modi's 5,80,432.
The former Delhi chief minister said not much should be read into AAP's dismal performance as it was "the party's first general elections."
"Main kahan hara hun, ye chunav to janta ne lada hai (It is not my defeat. Public contested the election for AAP)," he said.
Commenting on party's success in Punjab, where AAP bagged four seats, Kejriwal said, "We never expected such results."
Kejriwal, however, was disappointed with AAP's performance in Delhi after the party bagged 28 seats in the last assembly elections. "We will sit together to review our strategy and analyse what went wrong," Kejriwal said.
Congress leader Ajay Rai, who stood third in Kashi's electoral battle and lost his deposit money, attributed his defeat to an anti-Congress wave across the country. Rai cited the party's delay in announcing his candidature as another reason.