Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday slammed “political pundits” for not foreseeing the election results despite how Uttar Pradesh voted in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 2017 Assembly polls. He said those experts were relevant for the 20th century but not the 21st century, and their arguments and ideas were obsolete.

“Even the poor person on the ground has a better understanding than those with 50 pages of biodata, so many degrees and research papers and what not under their name,” Modi told Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Varnasi. “And we have dedication towards that person.”

Modi said arithmetic determines who wins elections, but “political analysts should agree now that before arithmetic comes chemistry”. The prime minister said Uttar Pradesh was providing a direction to India’s politics and strengthening the foundation of a healthy democracy.

Modi said the BJP is the only truly democratic party. “We in the BJP have faced two challenges: political violence, political untouchability,” he said “Why are our workers killed or attacked in Kashmir, Kerala or Bengal? It is shameful and anti-democratic.”

He wondered why BJP is still considered a Hindi heartland party. “The BJP has been chosen across India, be it Kerala, Kashmir, Bengal but still, political pundits call us a Hindi heartland party,” he said. “The BJP is ruling in the northeast today, we have been chosen even in Ladakh, but still, they call us a Hindi heartland party.”

Modi was in Varanasi to meet BJP workers after he was elected from the constituency for a second consecutive term. Modi defeated the Samajwadi Party candidate Shalini Yadav by 4.8 lakh votes in the recently concluded parliamentary elections. The BJP emerged victorious in the polls, winning 303 out of 542 seats.

Modi offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple earlier in the day. BJP President Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath accompanied him to the temple, and were also present at the public meeting.

On Sunday, Modi was in Gujarat for his first rally after the election results and received a rapturous welcome from BJP workers in Ahmedabad. He then travelled to Gandhinagar to seek his mother Heeraben Modi’s blessings. During his address to party workers in Ahmedabad, Modi said the mandate given to the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance was a big responsibility.

Modi will take oath as prime minister on Thursday. President Ram Nath Kovind had on Saturday appointed him to the office after his party MPs picked him as their leader again.