As the noise over the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Bihar poll debacle grew louder, Union transport and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said it was unfair to blame only Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah for the loss.
Defending Modi and Shah, who have been targeted by several BJP leaders over the party’s poor performance in the election, Gadkari said BJP is a “party of workers” and not of a family”, and hence a win is for everyone and so is a loss.
On Tuesday night, four BJP veterans – LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha – had issued a joint statement asking for accountability to be fixed for the Bihar poll defeat. Gadkari, who is also a former BJP president, said he would talk to Advani about the issue.
While ruling out Shah’s removal as party chief, Gadkari demanded stringent action against those making “irresponsible” statements against Modi and Shah. “I have told the party chief to initiate disciplinary action against those party activists who make irresponsible statements in public and cause damage to the image of the party,” the minister said.
Gadkari, who is considered a close associate of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, also dismissed the claims that a statement made by the latter on reviewing the reservation policy on caste line on the eve of the elections was one of the reasons for the party’s dismal performance.
Yashwant meets Advani
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha met BJP patriarch LK Advani on Wednesday.
However, there was no official word either from Advani or from Sinha, but sources said that the old guard of the BJP were not satisfied by a mere statement issued by the party on Tuesday night after their joint statement.
The meeting took place at Advani’s residence and lasted for around 40 minutes.
Sources said Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and former Delhi mayor Arti Mehra were also present at Advani’s residence when Sinha reached there.
(With IANS inputs)