Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday asked his party workers to accept the people’s verdict in the Lok Sabha elections and focus on the Assembly elections early next year, PTI reported.
This was Kejriwal’s first address to party workers after the Aam Aadmi Party’s defeat in all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. The party’s vote share was 18.1%, and stood third in five seats and was runner-up in only two. The Bharatiya Janata Party won all seats with a vote share of 56.6%.
“How’s the josh?” Kejriwal asked as he began addressing a gathering of workers and volunteers at the Punjabi Bagh club in Delhi, according to The Indian Express. He said the party will return to power in 2020 with a mandate bigger than the 2015 Assembly elections, when the party had secured 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi.
Kejriwal asserted that there was no negativity against the party in Delhi, reported ANI. “Many people said it is a big election, election of Rahul [Gandhi] ji and [Narendra] Modi ji, it isn’t Kejriwal’s election, let your election come and we will vote for you based on your work.”
Kejriwal said AAP had failed to convince Delhi residents why they should vote for the party in the Lok Sabha elections, according to Hindustan Times. “But then think about it, it is the AAP government which offered power subsidy, water subsidy, access to good schools, health care and numerous services to the Delhi residents,” he said. “Had they [the people of Delhi] voted the BJP or the Congress to power in 2015, even they know that they would never have got these benefits. So, in 2020, be confident that people will vote us to power. My heart says we will break our record of 54% [vote share].”
Kejriwal also congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for winning a second term and expressed hope that the Centre and Delhi government will “work together”.
He said the party has not deviated from its principles of honesty and hard work. “All of us are as honest as we were on November 26, 2013 when the party was formed,” PTI quoted him as saying. “Several CBI raids were conducted against me, Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain, but corruption of not even a single paisa was found. You all should be proud of it,” he said.