This Article is From Nov 11, 2015

BJP Veterans Target Leadership Over Bihar Loss, Party Hits Back

BJP Veterans Target Leadership Over Bihar Loss, Party Hits Back

Without naming PM Modi, the statement from LK Advani and three veteran leaders contains scathing criticism.

New Delhi: LK Advani and three other veteran BJP leaders issued a scathing statement on Tuesday demanding a thorough review of defeat in Bihar assembly elections and insisting that strict accountability be ensured. Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi or party chief Amit Shah, the statement criticised their leadership in strong words. In response, the BJP issued a statement, saying the elders had set the precedent of "collective responsibility".

Here are the Top 10 developments:

  1. The statement, signed by Mr Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha, pointed out that the Bihar results show that "no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi (assembly elections)."

  2. "To say everyone is responsible for defeat in Bihar is to ensure no one is held responsible. It shows those who would have appropriated credit if the party had won, are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing," it said.

  3. Claiming that the principal reason for the defeat is the way the party has been "emasculated" over the last year, the statement said a review has to be made of the defeat, but it "must not be done by the persons responsible for the campaign in Bihar".  

  4. In response, the BJP said though the results of Delhi and Bihar assembly elections had been adverse, after last year's Lok Sabha elections, it had won a series of victories in assembly elections and local elections in four states.

  5. "The party has been very fortunate to have been led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani... They had set a healthy precedent of the party collectively taking up responsibility for victories and defeats," the BJP statement read.

  6. The Bihar mandate -- in which the NDA had won a mere 58 seats in the 243-member house -- has been seen by many as a comment on the 18-month performance of the Narendra Modi government. The opposition, including the Left, had said it indicated a personal defeat for PM Modi, the face of the NDA campaign.

  7. Yesterday, after an initial assessment of the defeat at a meeting of its 12 top leaders including PM Modi, senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley said the PM could not be blamed. They attributed it to the party's failure to gauge the effectiveness of the grand alliance.

  8. Sources said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP, was concerned about such a revolt after Bihar loss. "The statement by the elders indicates a lack of communication and the party should introspect why there is a lack of communication," said KN Govindacharya of the RSS who met Mr Joshi at his house after the elders had drafted the statement..

  9. Arun Shourie -- former Union minister and an admirer-turned-critic of Narendra Modi -- told NDTV the defeat is expected to intensify the internal dissent against what many claim is the "high-handed" functioning style of PM Modi and party chief Amit Shah.

  10. The statement of the BJP veterans gave rise to glee in the opposition camp. Former Union Minister P Chidambaram tweeted, "On the eve of Diwali, we are witnessing the first fireworks. No surprises there." National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted, saying, "Talk about timing!!!! No one is discussing FDI reforms now!"