New Delhi: In an embarrassment to BJP after it suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Grand Alliance in Bihar, the party's veterans have demanded that accountability be fixed for the poll debacle.
Exerting pressure on the party top brass including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, stalwarts LK Advani, MM Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar issued statements over Bihar polls.
"Bihar results show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi. The principal reason for Bihar defeat is the way the party has been emasculated in the last year. The review should cover the way the party is forced to kow-tow to a handful and how its consensusal character has been destroyed," the party veterans were quoted as saying by PTI.
"The review must not be done by the very persons who have managed and have been responsible for the campaign in Bihar. To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat is to ensure that no one is held responsible," they further added.
Adding to the revolt, a former union minister and a senior leader from Bihar C P Thakur also attacked the leadership saying after serving the party for so long, he was pained to see that the relationship between the central leadership and the grassroot workers now has become one of master and the servant.
He was also severely critical of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's "one remark" on reservation that "cost us the entire election".
"BJP was winning the election before this remark was made. But once the remark was made and the way Lalu and Nitish made it an issue, The party became helpless," Thakur said.
Earlier in the day, Bhola Singh, two time MP from Begusarai in Bihar, had brought Modi and Shah in the line of fire, saying they injected communalism in the campaign.
"People went to Modi looking for a Prime Minister but they found a Lalu in him," he said.
"Prime Minister fell to Lalu's googly and left his 'sabka saath sabka vikas' pitch. He started speaking in Lalu's language. He began using undignified language while Nitish Kumar did not forget decorum even in the battle field," he said.
Late in the night, Bhola Singh welcomed the statement of party veterans, saying "those who gave birth to the party are trying to save it from demise".
He said the statement serves as lighting a lamp in the soul on the eve of Diwali.
Ever since the rout in Bihar, three MPs from the state --Shatrughan Sinha, Hukumdev Narayan Yadav and R K Singh--had severely critcised the party's approach and campaign in the election which they said contributed to the debacle.
According to reports, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha first met Murli Manohar Joshi and the trio then met Advani over the issue.
After 2014 General Elections, BJP leadership had dropped the veterans from the parliamentary board and formed a new committee Marg Darshak Mandal to reinstate them. This drew flak from the Opposition which went on to say that they have been put in an old age home.
(With PTI inputs)