Silence says it all at BJP's main office
The BJP's central office in New Delhi was silent on Friday as the vote count in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections showed the saffron party's decline in the key state.
The office at 11, Ashok Road, which usually bustles with supporters, leaders and party officials, was deserted as the Uttar Pradesh results sent the BJP crashing out of the race for power in the home state of its chief Rajnath Singh.
Except for senior leader Kalraj Mishra, no other prominent politician of the party visited its central office as late as noon.
Rather, they hopped from one TV station to another to argue that voters did not find the BJP -- which had won 88 seats in the 2002 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh -- an alternative to the Samajwadi Party of outgoing Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"The people identified the BSP as an alternative to the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. We also projected ourselves as an alternative but we were very late in doing so," senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said.
Swaraj, whose party launched a high-pitched Hindutva campaign much ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections, denied that this issue was the BJP's poll plank in the state.
"Hindutva was never an election issue. It is a way of life. How can a way of life ever be an election issue?" she remarked. "We could not feel the pulse of the people."