New Delhi: With rivals targeting him over his "referendum" remarks on Delhi polls, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said certain sections of political class were indulging in misinterpretation and he only meant that the PM's mandate "need not be validated" in every Assembly election.
"Some sections of political class are indulging in misinterpretation of my comment that the present Delhi election result will not be a referendum on the Prime Minister and performance of central government.
"What I meant was that the PM's mandate need not be validated in every assembly election. My comment is being twisted to give a different interpretation by those who are by now certain of defeat in the present Delhi election," Naidu said in a statement today.
He said that he would like to reiterate that the people of Delhi will give BJP a big victory in the present election as had happened in the Assembly polls in several states in recent months.
"Delhi development is closely interlinked with the central government. I am confident that people of Delhi will definitely vote for BJP to enable a harmonious effort for the development of the national capital," he said.
Naidu said that some sections of political class and media, who are quoting some opinion polls in support of their arguments, should realise that four out of five latest opinion polls clearly indicated a BJP victory. "BJP victory in Delhi polls is a certainty," he asserted.
With most of the opinion polls giving an edge to AAP in Delhi elections, Naidu had said that the electoral mandate in the national capital cannot be seen as a referendum on the performance of Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
"It is the election for the Chief Minister and not for the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi is not fighting assembly elections. It is a state election. You are going to elect a Chief Minister not a Prime Minister. It is the BJP versus the rest. That is all," Naidu had told PTI in an interview.
At the same time, he had defended his party's aggressive campaign to win Delhi polls, saying the mood of the country now was to strengthen the hands of the Prime Minister, who is trying to bring a transformation and Delhi being the capital, naturally acquires importance.
He had also said that there is no comparison between Modi and Arvind Kejriwal, as while the latter lost the Lok Sabha polls he fought against Modi from Varanasi, the Prime Minister has the support of nearly 400 MPs.
To a specific question on whether the results in Delhi could be called some sort of a referendum on Modi government's performance at the Centre, the minister, had wondered, "How can it be? Then what about Maharashtra , Jharkhand, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir elections. Were they also referendum?"
Asked about Naidu's comments, BJP president Amit Shah today found nothing wrong in them and said that the election in Delhi is indeed to elect a Chief Minister and no state election can be a referendum on the central government's performance.