Seeking to crack down on open dissension in the party after its poll debacle, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Rajnath Singh Saturday asked leaders to "refrain" from voicing their criticism of each other in the public domain and said those breaching the directive would invite "disciplinary action".
He was addressing the media here after senior leaders Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Jaitley and Sudheendra Kulkarni, in thinly veiled references, blamed the party leadership for the poor showing in the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP won just 116 seats this time, down from 138 in 2004.
Rajnath Singh said: "Statements by different leaders in the media have created an impression that the party leadership is in disarray and is not analysing the reasons for defeat. This is far from truth. The BJP leadership stands united..."
Singh said the "party leadership should refrain from sharing any view outside the party forum such as media or share any information that might create a negative image of the party".
He said failing to adhere to the directive would invite "disciplinary action".
Singh also said the party respects the verdict of the people "with humility" and would play the role of a responsible opposition.