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Vajpayee says he didn't expect sweeping BJP wins

Prime Minister Vajpayee told reporters that even he did not expect the BJP to win three of the four states that went to polls.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2003 20:07 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday seemed very pleased with the assembly poll results, saying that even he did not anticipate such sweeping victories for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

But the Prime Minister gave no indication that he planned to go for early Parliamentary elections to cash in on the party's wins in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

"Even we did not expect these results," he told reporters on board the Boeing 747-400 as it was taking off for Abuja, Nigeria, where he will attend the Commonwealth summit.

"Before the elections we thought the Congress will win two states and lose two states," he said, speaking in Hindi. "In all our calculations and analysis, even we did not anticipate these results."

Vajpayee attributed the BJP's success to its decision to focus on issues affecting the common man.

"We did well because we gave stress on issues affecting the people... power, roads and water became the biggest issues."

The prime minister added: "The 'mandir-masjid' (temple-mosque) issue did not figure at all in the campaign."

He was referring to the dragging feud about plans to build a grand Hindu temple at the site of the razed Babri mosque in Ayodhya town in Uttar Pradesh.

Amid growing speculation that the BJP might be tempted to advance the Lok Sabha elections due in September next year, Vajpayee remarked: "The elections are still a year away.

When journalists accompanying him kept pressing him to elaborate, a smiling Vajpayee, who was sporting a red tilak on his forehead, said: "Aap log bethiye..." (Please take your seats.)

First Published: Dec 04, 2003 19:20 IST