Even as Bharatiya Janata Party continued to lose ground in West Bengal, party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed that Congress and CPI (M) surrendered to Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress to cut down the lead his party acquired in the first four rounds of polling. Vijayvargiya, who led BJP's campaign from the front in the TMC bastion, also accounted BJP's probable loss in the state to low turnout of middle-class voters.
"We started with three seats and have now come to this stage. It is no mean feat. There is no example of any political party in the country that has made such a jump. We tried... we are not disappointed," said Vijayvargiya during an interaction with India Today.
He blamed Congress and the Left for surrendering before the TMC after fourth round of polling to diminish BJP's lead in the election.
"If you see the first four rounds of voting, we were ahead, but had trailed in the subsequent rounds. I believe that Congress and CPI (M) have surrendered before TMC to stop BJP in its tracks. After Mamata Banerjee's letter and Sharad Pawar's appeal calling the opposition together, Congress and CPI (M) surrendered before TMC," said Vijayvargiya.
On the question of public discontent over worsening COVID-19 situation being responsible for BJP's poor show, Vijayvargiya did not give a clear answer. As for impact on poll canvassing due to campaign restrictions in view of COVID-19 second wave, he said it might have played a part but was not a deciding factor. Vijayvargiya also refuted allegations that BJP outsourced people from other states for its election campaign in West Bengal.
On a question on any misgivings about the results, Vijayvargiya said, "I was confident till the seventh round [of voting], but felt something was wrong in the eighth round. The middle-class, upper middle-class voters who typically side with BJP did not come out to vote in this round. I later found that the seventh round had shown similar voter turnout. So it can be said that our voter did not turn up in the seventh and eighth rounds."
Vijayvargiya said that the party will thoroughly analyse its performance in West Bengal.