Jaitley meets Joshi after BJP veterans’ challenge to party leadership
Top BJP leader and finance minister Arun Jaitley met MM Joshi on Thursday, two days after the party veteran and three others including LK Advani lashed out against the party’s “emasculation” in the past year and demanded a thorough review of the Bihar poll defeat.india Updated: Nov 12, 2015 20:06 IST
Top BJP leader and finance minister Arun Jaitley met MM Joshi on Thursday, two days after the party veteran and three others including LK Advani lashed out against the party’s “emasculation” in the past year and demanded a thorough review of the Bihar poll defeat.
“It’s a personal visit,” Jaitley said when asked about his meeting with Joshi.
The visit came shortly after NDTV reported Prashant Kishor, Nitish Kumar’s election strategist, met former Union minister Arun Shourie, who has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP in the past few weeks.
Virtually raising the banner of revolt on Tuesday, a statement signed by Advani, Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar released said: “A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat and of the way the party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed.”
While the statement didn’t name either Modi or BJP president Amit Shah, it left little to the imagination as it targeted those who “managed” and were “responsible for the campaign” in Bihar — where the JD(U)-RJD-Congress’ Grand Alliance walked away with 178 of the 243 seats, leaving the BJP-led NDA with just 58 despite the PM addressing 30-plus rallies.
“The Bihar results show no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi. To say everyone is responsible for the defeat is to ensure no one is held responsible. It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar,” the statement said.
It was a direct counter to the BJP parliamentary board’s declaration just a day ago of “collective responsibility”.
In a subdued response to the joint statement, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and M Venkaiah Naidu said they welcomed any guidance and suggestion from party seniors while also crediting the veterans with setting “a healthy precedent of the party collectively taking responsibility for victories and defeats”.