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Bhagwat’s quota remark had no negative impact in Bihar: Rajnath

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday dismissed suggestions that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s quota review remark had affected NDA’s performance in Bihar assembly elections.

Singh also asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot be held responsible for NDA’s humiliating defeat.

“Bhagwat’s statement was not damaging. It was nothing controversial. We can’t think like that. He had only said that reservation should continue,” Singh said.

Bhagwat had said there is a need to have a fresh look as to who should get the benefit of quota, in comments that kicked up a political storm ahead of the Bihar polls.

“Social equations of Mahagathbandhan hamare upar bhari padi (social equation of Grand Alliance cost us dearly),” he told reporters at a ‘Diwali Milan’ programme in Delhi when asked for reasons for NDA’s defeat.

The winning alliance comprised JD(U), RJD and Congress.

Rajnath laughed at a question whether Modi will resign as Prime Minister taking moral responsibility for the BJP defeat, asking, “what kind of question is this?” “It’s BJP’s loss and not of the Prime Minister,” he said.

Singh also ruled out the possibility of party chief Amit Shah being removed over the Bihar debacle.

“Amit Shah will remain as party chief for six more years. There is no hurdle. In fact, he got one and half years of my own tenure (as party chief) when I had moved from the party to the government. After that he is entitled to two terms (of three years each),” he said.

Singh said the BJP will study and analyse all aspects of party’s defeat in the polls and will take action accordingly.

“Victory and defeat are part of the democratic process. We had won elections in the past, we had lost elections in the past. We will not do justice to future if we decide future only on the basis of one elections,” he added.

The home minister was candid in admitting that the results had puzzled him as he had seen good public presence during 50 rallies addressed by him. Asked about controversial statements made by some of the party leaders to whip up communal tension, Singh said “if there is any secular party in the country, it is BJP.”