Grappling with the electoral debacle, the BJP on Sunday sent out a strong message that it was neither giving up Hindutva nor severing its links with the RSS, but party veteran L K Advani called for immediate halt to blame game and bickering being aired in the media.
Already smarting under attacks from senior leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, the two-day national executive of the BJP, which concluded on Sunday, also witnessed heated exchange of words between Maneka Gandhi and two Muslim leaders on Varun Gandhi's hate speeches and chief ministers cautioning leaders against ignoring the Muslims.
In the first major speech on the party's performance, Advani, whose bid for prime ministership failed in the elections, said honest introspection was necessary but open airing of views is wrong.
In a veiled reference to the attacks by leaders like Jaswant Singh, Sinha and Shourie, Advani said leaders and workers should feel that there is an internal mechanism where even critical views can be placed.
"The only constraint on the participants in this exercise, which is an important part of the BJP's culture of discipline, is that they should not air their critical views in public," he said.