New Delhi: After the BJP's defeat in Bihar, some of the searing criticism directed at the party has come from its own leaders. A parliamentarian from the state has openly attacked the party's powerful ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS.
Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, the BJP lawmaker from Madhubani in Bihar, has said that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comments favouring a review of the country's policy of quota for the backward castes sealed the party's fate.
"Mohan Bhagwat's comment at this time, it filled the backward castes and Dalits with mistrust for the BJP. People showed their faith in Modi...they came in thousands at his rallies, but the RSS chief's comments shook people to the core," Mr Yadav said this morning.
In another damning observation, he said that "people get the impression that the BJP only does what the Sangh (RSS) wants."
In results declared yesterday, the BJP and its allies were left with only 58 seats in the 243-member Bihar assembly as the rival "grand alliance' led by chief minister Nitish Kumar won 178 seats, a two-thirds majority.
BJP chief Amit Shah met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat this morning to assess the results.
Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who is among the most vocal in-house critics of the BJP, needled his party in a series of tweets praising Nitish Kumar and also told NDTV: "Punish those who led the BJP to defeat in Bihar."
In tweets, the lawmaker from Patna Sahib said, "It appears the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari babu's absence) has been settled once and for all" and "Wishing great luck to our victorious friends and appealing for introspection to our people. The writing was always on the wall."
Today, Mr Sinha's tweets were more conciliatory even though his meeting with Nitish Kumar is likely to rankle.