Political opponents stung by the massive comeback by the Congress conceded defeat barely five hours after poll officials started to add up the numbers to translate them into a mandate for the UPA second term in office.
The first to throw in the towel was BJP president Rajnath Singh, he said: “We never imagined this unexpected result. We will sit today and assess where we went wrong.”
Singh, however, quelled speculations of an imminent split in the BJP-led NDA, even as several top party leaders convened at LK Advani’s residence for discussions over the emerging political scenario.
Nearly an hour later CPI(M) general secretary, Prakash Karat, conceded that the Left parties had suffered a major setback in their mainstay of West Bengal.
He said that a review of the poll results would be conducted at a politburo meeting slated for May 18.
Minutes later, BJP leader Arun Jaitley reading out a carefully worded statement said, the Congress-led UPA was well on its way to victory. While refusing to make “off hand comments on what went wrong” he admitted that something did go wrong for the BJP.
Jaitley admitted that the BJP and its allies were headed for a clear down curb, but admitted that the colossal Congress victory was a ‘natural consequence” of the drubbing suffered by the Third Front in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal.