NEW DELHI: With BJP suffering its first major electoral defeat after Lok Sabha polls, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the Delhi verdict was a setback to the party but maintained that it was not a referendum on the central government as people voted on local issues.
Naidu said the party has to examine the reasons behind its defeat and rectify them. Complementing the AAP for their "good" victory, he voiced hope that they will "live up to the expectations they have created" in voters and said the Centre would extend all support to the new government.
"We had eight state elections in a row. We have won in seven places and for the first time, we have a setback in Delhi," the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said on the sidelines of a function here.
"I have been saying from day one that this is Delhi elections and this is not a mandate...it is not a referendum on the central government because the issues that were focused, discussed and then decided are local issues. So it is not a referendum on the central government."
Complementing the AAP for their victory, Naidu said the party accepts and respects the people's verdict.
"I would like to complement the AAP for their good victory and I hope that they will live up to the expectation which they have created. They have to fulfil all the promises they have made. The Centre would extend all support to the new government."
He also assured support to the AAP government in its endeavour for development of Delhi.
"We accept the verdict of the people of Delhi humbly and we respect their mandate. We will cooperate with the new government in a more meaningful manner for all-round development in Delhi," Naidu said.
He said, "Every election has a message. The party has to study the message and understand what are the reasons that we lagged behind. They have to be rectified for the future."
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, he said, "Fortunately we have a PM who is universally popular. He has a vision and capacity and calibre to carry the country forward.
"Irrespective of whichever party is ruling the state, the Prime Minister has already said that we have to work as Team India and we will be also working together with the new government in Delhi."