With the Bharatiya Janata Party's hopes of forming a government dashed, there is a feeling in the party that Varun Gandhi's hate speech could have been one of the causes of the dismal performance. As it began introspection into the poll outcome, the BJP, which talked about analysing the causes of its electoral performance, felt that the hate speech in Varun Gandhi's Pilibhit constituency had polarised voters and cost the party several seats although the young candidate won his.
A senior party leader said Muslim votes had apparently got consolidated in favour of the Congress, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, in the wake of Varun's controversial comments against the minority community.
Sources said that after Varun's comments, the BJP was in a dilemma whether to withdraw his candidature -- some leaders, even then, had felt that it could cost the party votes.
In fact, two Muslim BJP leaders, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain, had openly voiced their anger over Varun's comment at that time.