Former Haryana CM B S Hooda tells The Indian Express that it was not a Modi wave this time, but a tsunami that the Congress failed to read.
What do you think went wrong?
I don t know what is the true position, but one thing is obvious that the Election Commission also failed to remove the doubt in the minds of people about EVMs. Otherwise, it is people s verdict. In democracy, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We accept the people s verdict. Whatever shortcomings were there on our part, we shall try to sort it out. We shall watch BJP closely and ensure they fulfill the promises they have made to people. I extend my best wishes to BJP.
BJP says Congress indulged in a negative campaign, launched a personal attack on the PM. Do you think it played a role in your defeat?
It may be BJP s perspective. BJP too indulged in an extremely negative campaign. In Haryana, BJP also launched personal attacks on us. But I must say one thing, that…the level of politics…has deteriorated. I belong to a different school of thought. Mud-slinging has never been part of my training.
Do you think polarisation of votes played a factor?
It is not only the case in Haryana. It happened in the entire country. I do not agree that polarisation has made much impact. It is basically the younger generation that they (BJP) impressed with Balakot air strikes and of course Modi factor. BJP ensured that people forget about the chief minister, forget about the state government, forget about the candidates, forget the core issues. They did not say a word about their candidates, all they talked about was air strikes and Modi. They succeeded in their strategy.
How do you view the huge margins by which Congress candidates have lost?
It is not only a Modi wave, it was a tsunami-like thing that we could not read. But one thing is sure that BJP will now have to live up to the high expectations that they have created in people s minds. If they fail to fulfill people s expectations, they will have to bear the brunt in the next elections.