BJP veterans, who have raised a banner of revolt against the party leadership, on Friday held deliberations among themselves, amidst rumblings in the party over the Bihar assembly poll debacle.
Yashwant Sinha met L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi separately on Friday while Shanta Kumar, the fourth member of the group of veterans who had issued a strongly-worded statement, welcomed the party’s efforts to reach out to them, saying “dialogue must continue”. Sinha, a former union minister, declined to divulge details of their talks. “I have nothing else to say except that I met Joshiji and Advaniji,” he said. Kumar said he welcomed the party’s efforts to reach out to veterans.
“The party’s response is good, positive. Our leaders have met. Arun Jaitley met Advani and Joshiji. A dialogue has begun and it should continue. I am satisfied,” Kumar told PTI. Senior party leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari today said the party will listen to the veterans and Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also learnt to have stressed on the need of engaging with them. Gadkari, Naidu and Singh are former party chiefs and had issued a statement on BJP’s behalf soon after the four veterans launched their attack.
Advani, Joshi, Sinha and Kumar had said in a statement on the Diwali eve that the party was “emasculated” in one year as they sought accountability to be fixed for the Bihar loss. In its reply, the party said it had practised collective responsibility when Advani and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had headed it.
A number of BJP MPs from Bihar have spoken out against the top party brass and faulted their campaign for raking up controversial issues and using “undignified” language. Manoj Tewari, MP from Norh-East Delhi who was one of the leading BJP campaigners, joined other BJP leaders in criticising the party’s campaign in Bihar and lauded the strategy of JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance as “undoubtedly better”.