New Delhi: To introspect the reasons for its crushing defeat in Bihar Assembly elections, Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday held parliamentary board meeting here.
BJP's top brass including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and party president Amit Shah were present in the meeting.
Addressing the press conference after the meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the party respects the mandate of Bihar. Bihar polls were essential for it.
" We couldn't estimate the strength of Grand Alliance. After detailed analysis we've observed that vote transferability of grand alliance was quite good, had major impact on Bihar elections. The unity of Mahagathbandhan is the reason for our defeat, " he said.
"People were trying to disrupt the development agenda. My advice is that we should not fall into such traps," he added.
On being asked about the remarks made by BJP leaders during Bihar polls, Jaitley said, "No election is decided on the basis of one remark. Elections have their own calculations."
Jaitley also said incidents like Dadri lynching and the killing of rationalist MM Kalburgi in Karnataka were "aberrations" and "not the pattern" in India, and called for distinguishing between those committing such crimes and those just being "loose talkers".
"During the period when the elections were being contested, some irresponsible statements did change the narrative. That is not expected from responsible (persons). I had repeatedly intervened in order to make sure that the narrative comes back.
"As far as plan is concerned, I think those may be incidental factors. How much they impacted on Bihar, I really do not know," he said, attributing the NDA's defeat mainly to the "huge index of opposition unity".
While the ruling NDA managed to get 58 seats (BJP 53) in the 243-member Bihar assembly, JD(U)-RJD-Congress Mahagathbandhan secured 178 seats.
On whether Bihar election was a referendum on the policies of the Centre, Jaitley, said, "The word referendum is loosely used... Every election is not a referendum. A state election is not a referendum. You are not contesting on one issue."
(With Agency inputs)