Displaying confidence until he no longer could, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari today finally conceded defeat and congratulated Arvind Kejriwal on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s mega victory in the Delhi election.
“Thanks to all the voters of Delhi. Thank you to all the party workers for their hard work… We respect the mandate of people. @ArvindKejriwal congratulations to you,” Manoj Tiwari posted on Twitter in Hindi.
“I hope the Delhi government will live up to the expectations of the people,” he added.
AAP looked to end up with 63 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly, limiting the BJP to seven although it is better than the party’s 2015 tally.
On Saturday, Mr Tiwari had tweeted that his party would win 48 seats and form a government comfortably and he had urged people to “save” the tweet.
He explained his remarkable optimism on his “sixth sense” and “vibrations from all sides”. He also attacked Mr Kejriwal for “compromising” the purity of the Hanuman temple in Connaught Place with his visit, when he apparently took off his shoes and offered flowers during prayers with the same hand.
This morning, the Delhi BJP chief went further and said he would not be surprised if the BJP won more than 55 seats.
As things started looking bleak after the counting of votes began, the actor-singer turned politician, in his characteristic style, urged BJP workers not to lose heart and effectively said it’s not over till it’s over.
“There are several rounds of counting. I will tell our workers there is no need to be disheartened. We are in a good position. In 27 seats, there is only a 1,000-vote gap between AAP and BJP. Anything can happen,” he said.
A party needs 36 in the Delhi assembly for a majority.
Sometime later, he told reporters that if the BJP lost, the blame would be entirely on him. “We will analyse the loss. We hope in future there will be less blame-game and more work,” Mr Tiwari said.