The core group of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Punjab unit would meet in New Delhi on May 27. The BJP’s state unit is under fire over the results of the Lok Sabha polls, especially party stalwart Arun Jaitley’s crushing defeat from Amritsar.
Announcing the schedule for the meeting, state unit president Kamal Sharma said party leaders would analyse the poll results and also discuss the functioning of the state government.
Senior party leaders, including Punjab affairs incharge Shanta Kumar and Shyam Jajju, would also take part in the meeting, which has been fixed a day after Narendra Modi takes oath as the Prime Minister.
Former president of the party’s state unit and the legislative group leader, Chunni Lal Bhagat, who is the minister for forests and wildlife, and deputy leader of the legislative group Anil Joshi are expected to take part in the meeting.
Amritsar (North) MLA Joshi had quit as the local bodies minister on May 16 on “moral grounds”, owning responsibility for Jaitley’s defeat.
The fate of his resignation is not yet known. While the BJP is set to analyse its own functioning, the party seems to be shifting the onus for the dismal poll show on its coalition partner in the Punjab government, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Talking to HT, Kamal Sharma said governance would also be on the agenda of the meeting. “Poll results reflect the state government’s functioning, so we need to take corrective steps,” he added.
The core committee of the SAD had held a meeting last Saturday and constituted a three-member committee comprising senior party leaders to find out what went wrong during the polls.
Meanwhile, Shanta Kumar told HT that the party and its leaders were saddened by the defeat of senior leader Arun Jaitley, adding that the coalition had to ascertain the reasons and plug the gaps, for which it required serious introspection.
According to him, the SAD-BJP coalition suffered damage as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) garnered vote share of 24%.