In an apparent dig at Varun Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who took the Hindutva line during the Lok Sabha poll campaign, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday said the era of "Mandal and Kamandal" was over and development was the main issue.
"The era of Mandal and Kamandal (OBC reservations and Hindutva) is over. The era of development which was started in 1999 and continued till 2004 in the regime of Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the main issue," Naqvi told reporters here.
He said wherever BJP fought on positive issues like development, education, security and employment the party had done well. "Wherever we fought on negative and non-issues we performed badly...70 per cent of the Indian voters today are under the age group of 40 years and they look forward to development of the region and the state and progressive politics," he said.
However, Naqvi evaded questions on whether he was referring to Varun and Modi. Party insiders say BJP lost votes in several constituencies after Varun's hate-speech in Pilibhit and areas where Modi had campaigned.
Naqvi said though it was too early to arrive at the reasons for the poll debacle and a proper analysis was needed, he conceded that as a political party BJP needed to "take all sections of society together".