Congress said the Bihar poll outcome was a referendum on the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hinted that he could soon face music from within BJP as “Margdarshak Mandal” will not remain “Mukdarshak Mandal”.
Party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed also indicated that the Bihar outcome, the second successive defeat of the BJP after Delhi Assembly polls, would lead to realignment of political forces as “bubble created by the last Lok Sabha polls has finally burst”.
“Certainly. It will reflect on his leadership. Like entire country, people of Bihar were disappointed over the performance of the Prime Minister and his government,” party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed told PTI.
Asked whether Bihar poll was a referendum on the Modi government, he also said the campaign in the keenly fought polls saw the BJP projecting only Modi by treating all state leaders as “rejects”.
“There were only posters of the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah and not of any state leader as they were treated as rejects,” Ahmed, who is a senior leader from Bihar, said.
Besides, he pointed out that the Prime Minister held as many as 31 rallies in the poll-bound state when generally Prime Ministers address four to five such rallies.
Asked whether the Bihar verdict could turn Modi into a virtual lame duck Prime Minister, Ahmed remarked “there is anger against Narendra Modi within his own party. Because he was getting success by hook or by crook, a large number of people were silent. They also included people who are members of the Margdarshak Mandal. They were forced to become Mukdarshak Mandal (silent spectators).”
Margdarshak Mandal is mainly a group of elderly BJP leaders like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi besides the indisposed former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The Prime Minister as also Home Minister Rajnath Singh are also members of the Mandal which has not had its meeting so far. It was constituted soon after the BJP-led NDA came to power in May last year. Detractors of the BJP have always dubbed the Margdarshak Mandal as an Old Man’s club to accommodate sidelined veterans.
Another party leader Rashid Alvi said the Bihar verdict was not defeat of the BJP but of the working of the Prime Minister. The election was between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and therefore Modi should take moral responsibility and resign, he said.
“BJP did not learn a lesson from defeat in Delhi. Now people of Bihar have taught a very strong lesson to it”, he remarked.
Party spokesman RPN Singh said the victory of the grand alliance was that of the idea of India and hoped the BJP heard the firecrackers being burst all over the country.