State results won’t affect 2019 Lok Sabha polls: Jaitley

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that the results of the state Assembly elections where the BJP lost three major states were unlikely to have a bearing on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls which would be fought on “Central governments performance”.

He said that it was time for his party to “pause and introspect” but brushed aside the claims that the Congress won on account of Rahul Gandhi’s dynamic leadership.

“The issues in state elections are entirely different. We won all these three states (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh) in December 2003 and we lost the general elections in 2004. So, there is no automatic transfer,” Jaitley said.

He insisted that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be fought around the performance of the Central government and the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The election issue will be whether we want a tried and tested leadership and government in place or we want an unstable, non-ideological coalition which is bound to splinter away sooner than later,” he said.

Stressing that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did quite well in all the three states despite a plethora of factors, such as anti-incumbency, going against it, Jaitley said his party could have done better.

“It was a tough fight but we had not speculated that the gap would be so large… Certainly we could have dome much better. I think it’s time for us to pause and introspect,” he said.

On Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, he said no election depends on an individual.

“An election is a combination of several factors. I don’t think anybody should mislead himself by thinking that the victory or defeat is due to one person,” he said.