Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday said the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha bye-polls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur did not indicate that the policies of the Centre or the state government were a failure. “I don’t see the results as a referendum,” he said at an event in Lucknow, according to PTI.

The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party combine defeated the BJP in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-polls on March 14. The seats fell vacant after Adityanath, who held the Gorakhpur seat for five terms, became the chief minister in 2017, and Keshav Prasad Maurya was appointed his deputy.

When asked why the party suffered such a huge loss, Adityanath said, “It was due to over-confidence and complacency in candidates, who did not toil hard thinking that they would get the seat on a platter”. He added that he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the bye-poll results but refused to divulge details of the meeting. “Family matters cannot be shared in public,” he said.

Adityanath said they may have lost the bye-elections but the party’s vote bank “is still intact”. He, however, added that the party has learnt a lesson from the results, and would perform better in future elections. “Our days will be superb, and I am confident that we will win all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state [in 2019],” he said.

He added that the hallmark of his regime was development-oriented politics focussing on farmers and the youth. “There was no riot during my tenure,” claimed Adityanath. “All religious festivals are being observed peacefully. We are laying focus on spiritual, heritage and eco-tourism.”