Veterans should not have gone public: Naidu

BENGALURU :  As BJP grappled with the dissent by four party veterans, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today suggested that they should have raised their views at a party forum rather than going public.

The Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs asserted that the country and party needed Narendra Modi’s leadership but said the BJP “will take note of these views and concerns.”

Senior BJP leaders– Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha– have attacked Modi and BJP president Amit Shah after drubbing of the party in Bihar polls.

In a statement, the party veterans said the party has been “emasculated” in the last one year and was being “forced to kowtow to a handful”.

Naidu said,”Some of our senior leaders have raised certain issues. It would have been better if these issues were raised in a party forum rather than public, but still we will take note of these views and concerns.”

“We will discuss with all the concerned. The parliamentary board has already decided to take up with all the concerned and discuss the shortcomings that led to the defeat in Bihar. That has been the practise,” Naidu said.

When BJP was trying to improve its performance after 2009, Modi proved to be “the man for the occasion” for both the party and the nation, he said.

“Modi led the campaign and the party secured an all time high number of Lok Sabha seats. People gave absolute majority to one party after a gap of 30 years,” the Union minister said.

He said Modi has been instrumental in lifting the pride of the nation among the people of India and the world.

Crediting Modi for party’s performance in Maharashtra, Jharkand, Jammu-Kashmir and Haryana where BJP was in power, he also referred to BJP’s good performance in various municipal body elections after it came to power at the Centre.

“Be it Assam, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, even Bengaluru, Andaman and Ladakh. We also made spectacular inroads in the neighbouring state of Kerala where we used to be very weak,” he said.

Defending BJP President Shah, Naidu said he played an important role in strategising the party and organising the campaign during the elections.

“The BJP lost 2004 Parliamentary elections I was the President, Atalji was the leader. 2009 also we lost to UPA 2 when Advaniji was the leader. We also lost some state Assembly elections.”

Naidu said “winning and loosing happens, we never held any individual or for that matter group of individuals responsible for these defeats.”

“It has never been the culture of the party to blame any individual for the future of the party. Elections are won and lost as a result of collective effort…..” he added.

Noting that Advani has immensely contributed to the growth and expansion of BJP, Naidu said “he has been instrumental in turning monopoly politics in India led by Congress into a bipolar one shared between Congress and BJP.”

The minister said BJP had always believed in inner party democracy and it was “unfair to say its consensual tradition is given a go by.”

Calling Modi “the most popular leader” in the country, he said BJP and the country need his leadership.

“We are all proud of our Prime Minister, the country is moving forward. Every BJP sympathiser or activist should strengthen the hands of the party and also make their own contribution in the forward movement of the country.”

“We should work to strengthen his hands and through his rule strengthen this nation.”

Not wishing to speak about internal politics within the party including the activities of party MP Shatrughan Sinha, Naidu said “…I don’t discuss intra party matters in media. I have been the President of the party, and I know the system of the party. We have been given that much samskara by the leaders. Party is taking note of what is said by whom.”

He also said “we have progressed under the leadership of Advaniji and Atalji. We are proud of it. There is no second word about it.”(PTI)


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