States won’t affect 2019 Lok Sabha polls, says Arun Jaitley
Union finance minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday the assembly election results declared on Tuesday were unlikely to have a bearing on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which will be fought on the performance of the central government.
Jaitley said the results were certainly not as expected, adding that it was time for the BJP to “pause and introspect”.
He, however, rejected claims that the Congress won on account of its party chief Rahul Gandhi’s dynamic leadership.
“The issues in state elections are entirely different. We won all these three states (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh) in December 2003 and we lost the general elections in 2004. So, there is no automatic transfer,” he said.
He said the general elections next year will be fought around the performance of the central government and the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The election issue will be whether we want a tried and tested leadership and government in place or we want an unstable, non-ideological coalition which is bound to splinter away sooner than later,” he said.
Stressing that the BJP did well in all the three states despite a plethora of factors, such as anti-incumbency going against it, Jaitley said the party could have done better.
“It was a tough fight but we had not speculated that the gap would be so large... Certainly we could have dome much better. I think it’s time for us to pause and introspect,” he said.
On Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, he said no election depends on an individual.
“An election is a combination of several factors. I don’t think anybody should mislead himself by thinking that the victory or defeat is due to one person,” he said.