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Aug 20, 2009 at 08:03pm IST

BJP lists its reasons for Lok Sabha poll loss

Shimla: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday admitted that its loss in the Lok Sabha elections was due to wrong slogans that did not click with the voters and projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the future prime minister of India was one of the reasons for its defeat.

An internal party report tabled before the BJP’s chintan baithak or introspection meeting in Shimla on Thursday listed a range of reasons for defeat in elections, ranging from personal attacks on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to squabbling among top leaders.

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At a closed-door meeting, a three-member committee led by party leader Bal Apte presented its report on the Lok Sabha debacle. Senior party leader Arun Jaitley though denied that such a report existed. The main reasons listed for the party's defeat were:

  • Lack of unity among party leaders.
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  • Failure to connect with youth.
  • BJP failed to corner the Congress on 26/11. Instead the party let the Congress and the media divert the issue and bring in to Kandhar issue.
  • Party's election slogans failed.
  • Varun Gandhi's hate speech also led to BJP debacle.
  • Projection of Narendra Modi as the future prime minister damaged the party's prospects.
  • Campaign should have been more meticulous, synchronised and effective.
  • Personal attack on Manmohan Singh did not go well with people.
  • In Punjab the alliance partner’s attitude affected the performance of National Democratic Alliance.
  • In Delhi the BJP lost the game even before it was played.
  • In Haryana party failed to assess the popular mood.
  • Break up of alliance in Orissa at the 11th hour left the party unawares.

Sacking Jaswant

Jaitley also explained why the BJP sacked senior leader Jaswant Singh on Wednesday. He said what Singh wrote in his book on Pakistani statesman M A Jinnah and Sardar Patel was "directly opposed" to the party’s core ideology and constituted a grave indiscipline.

"The BJP constitution says that the parliamentary board has powers in all matters of indiscipline and to decide the procedure and the action in such cases," said Jaitley at a press conference.

Singh's views on Jinnah and what senior BJP leader L K Advani said about the Pakistani leader in 2005 were different, he said. "There is a basic difference between what the two leaders have said. What Advani said was a tactical reference to Jinnah's speech in Pakistan's constituent assembly to tell the people of Pakistan what situation they have come to.

"But to say that Jinnah was demonised in India, that Indian Muslims feel as aliens in the country and to denigrate Sardar Patel goes against the national consensus and party's core beliefs," Jaitley said.