Victory not because of Godhra, riots: BJP

Party spokesman Arun Jaitley says the results are a strong reaction to the negative campaign by Congress discrediting the state.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2002 12:15 IST

BJP on Sunday rejected suggestions that the Godhra carnage and the subsequent communal violence were behind the party's victory in the assembly elections in Gujarat and that the success was solely because of the Modi factor.

"I don't think we have benefitted because of the riots. I think the people of Gujarat strongly reacted to negative campaign by Congress discrediting the state," BJP spokesman Arun Jaitley said reacting to the results.

Asked whether Chief Minister Narendra Modi was instrumental in BJP victory, Jaitley said "Modi was certainly a key figure during campaign ..... But the entire BJP central leadership including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and about 40 national leaders had actively campaigned".

He also ruled out any major changes at the Centre with Modi's hardline campaign highlighting the Hindu card and terrorism paying dividends at the hustings. The party, Jaitley said, had also highlighted several other issues.

The Congress also tried to raise some kind of "soft Hindutva" which did not succeed, he said, adding that BJP on the other hand highlighted a wide range of issues including performance of the party Government besides developmental activities like road communication, electricity and water.

Taking a dig at the Election Commission for not holding early polls, he said the Commission had earlier postponed polls by a couple of months but when it decided to hold elections, it was conducted with "irregular" voters list. "The Election Commission also needs an introspection," he said.

First Published: Dec 15, 2002 12:05 IST