Post-Bihar rumblings in BJP continued today with disgruntled party leaders Shatrughan Sinha and vocal party MP Bhola Singh from the state both demanding fixing of responsibility for the poll debacle.
The MPs appeared unfazed by calls for stringent action against leaders making "irresponsible" statements with Sinha saying "we should not run away from fixing responsibility" and Bhola Singh calling for "introspection" to deal with "basic failures".
However, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is said to be of the view that the party should not crush voices of dissent and that the views of the veterans should be examined so that "corrective" steps could be taken.
Welcoming the statement of party veterans including L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi demanding accountability for the Bihar debacle, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha today tweeted "Nonetheless, now that the verdict is out and we're saddened by this humiliating defeat, we should not run away from fixing responsibility."
"Right and high time to follow the friend, philosopher, guru, Guiding Light & his team of 4. Relay race has begun. Gang of 4-Bang on target," he said in another tweet in a reference to the demand of the veterans.
Veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha on Tueday attacked the Modi-Shah duo over Bihar debacle saying the party has been "emasculated" in the last one year and was being "forced to kow-tow to a handful". They demanded a thorough review of the debacle. (More)
Sinha also said that he had never suggested that Bihar
Assembly poll results could have been different had he been declared the chief ministerial candidate. He said he had only said that things could have been better if he had campaigned in the elections.
Meanwhile, Begusarai BJP MP Bhola Singh said the Bihar poll outcome has proved that Modi magic is "not durable".
Singh, who had termed as "undignified" the speech of the Prime Minister during Bihar campaign, said, "The situation that emerging during Parliamentary elections had helped 'Modi magic' create an impression among voters ...But it is nowhere seen now when the situation has become normal...Bihar poll outcome has proved that Modi magic is not durable."
In a veiled attack on party chief Amit Shah, Singh said "drunk in power" the top party leadership was always seen "surrounded by sycophants."
He agreed with Shatrughan Sinha's comment that "Taali Kaptan ko to Gaali bhi Kaptan ko (if kudos to captain over victory the blame should also go to the captain)."
"Leadership should be one in which everybody has 'astha' (faith) which is lacking at present," said Singh, in whose constituency the BJP lost all 7 the Assembly seats.
Asked if Shah was responsible for the lost, Singh said, "why not. If you take claim for win and you become President on that basis, then will Advani be blamed for defeat".
He said the party should go to the bottom of the defeat. "The cancer which has spread in the party... The cancerous state the party finds itself in. We need introspection to deal with it, to deal with the basic failures."
Referring to the statements apparently by Hindutva hotheads and top leaders, he said "the statements which left the party's image in tatters should be reviewed and action taken commensurate with the transgressions.
Bhola Singh demanded convening of a meeting of the party at the national level to seek approval for steps to be taken by the party. "If it does not give approval, then the person should leave his chair," he said.
Meanwhile, opinion in the top echelons of BJP remained divided on whether action should be taken against senior party leaders, who have attacked Modi and Shah over the Bihar poll debacle, with Rajnath Singh said to be averse to taking any action against dissenters.
Yesterday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari strongly defended Modi and Shah and demanded stringent action against those making irresponsible statement and causing damage to the party's image.
Party sources said Rajnath Singh was of the opinion that veterans--L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi--have experience and have contributed immensely to the growth of the BJP and so the party should listen to them.
The Home Minister is said to be in favour of examination and analysis of what the veterans had said and decisions taken for the overall good of the BJP. Such decisions should be acceptable to all, the sources said.
Singh, a former party President, was not averse to dissenting opinion being expressed within the party fora and felt that corrective steps should be taken rather than crushing it.
He is also said to be of the opinion that party leaders, including veterans, should not express their views in public but should raise them in party fora as making public certain things is not good.