NEW DELHI: After a series of victories last year, the first elections of the 2015 are likely to prove a damp squib for the BJP, if the exit polls are to be believed.
As the results of exit polls filtered in, crowds thinned at the state BJP office, while senior BJP leadership, including party chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, and party general secretary Ram Lal held a review meeting at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official 7 RCR residence.
Sources said the senior leaders discussed post-poll Delhi strategy and the emerging political situation in electorally important Bihar, where CM Jitan Ram Manjhi had revolted against the JD(U) leadership when asked to make way to his mentor Nitish Kumar.
Separately, Shah was closeted with the state BJP leaders, including the party’s CM face Kiran Bedi reviewing the polling in Delhi, later with BJP leaders from Bihar, including Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, party general secretary Bhupendra Yadav and former Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.
Bihar leaders again met at Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence following the BJP core group meeting at the PM’s residence.
The BJP officially put up a brave front saying it will form the government after the counting on February 10, but the exit polls appeared to be in sync with the pre-poll mood within the party.
After Shah again took stock from leaders deputed to individual constituencies, the BJP expressed the hope that it was a close fight in many constituencies and the results would go in the party’s favour as the voting percentage was much higher.
After the meeting, Union Minister Ananth Kumar spoke to reporters at 9 pm. “Exit polls are there, but we know the ground realities. Our workers have worked hard through the day and are witness to people supporting the BJP in large numbers.”