Modi’s remarks, attack on PM led to LS defeat: BJP report

Last Updated: Friday, August 21, 2009 - 00:01

Zeenews Bureau

Shimla: The BJP on Thursday admitted that hate speeches by Varun Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s sarcastic remarks on the Congress party during the campaign were among the reasons for its humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

However, senior leader Arun Jaitley told the media
today that "there is no report" given by Bal Apte, which
has already been denied by the party.

"Whether Apte has made any presentation or not will
be known tomorrow at the press conference by party President
Rajnath Singh," he said when asked about the discussions in
the "chintan baithak" that is on here on the issue.
The three-day chintan baithak (introspection meeting) of the party that began Wednesday also discussed threadbare a report of a committee headed by party vice-president Bal Apte, the BJP leader said, wishing anonymity.

The Bal Apte Committee report has also cited the
"perceived lack of unity amongst the leaders" and "internal
sqabbles" of BJP as being among other causes of the failure of
the party to wrest power from UPA.

"Personal attack on Manmohan Singh did not go well with
people," the nine-page report on the results has noted.

The observations could be seen as faulting senior BJP
leader LK Advani, who led the personal attack on Manmohan
Singh and repeatedly termed him as "weak Prime Minister".

"Mid-campaign distractions like projection of Sri
Narendra Modi as PM, Varun Gandhi controversy and reported
internal squabbles within the party took centre-stage and
pushed aside the main campaign," the report notes.

Modi had made fun of the Congress calling it a `budhiya (aging woman),` while Varun Gandhi`s incendiary speeches against the Muslim community sent shock waves across the country.

On BJP`s election slogan of `Mazboot Neta, Nirnayak
Sarkar` (strong leader, decisive government) and main issues
of internal security and price rise, the report says that
there was a "popular perception amongst our activists and
supporters that these issues either did not get positioned
effectively or there was a mismatch or both to some extent."

The Bal Apte committee was set up after demands from
within the party for introspection over the poll debacle.
The report also observes that BJP lacked "leaders of
stature and profile", which affected the party`s performance
in certain states like Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and
Tamil Nadu.

It has found faults with the process to select
candidates, saying it got delayed despite the party starting
very early and "was not appropriate" at some places.

On Kandahar plane hijacking controversy, the report says
that the party`s response was "disappointing" and "left much
to be desired".

"For no reason, we always appeared to be on the backfoot
and played defensive," it said.

The report says that BJP failed to corner Congress on
the Mumbai attacks. "Instead, we let them and the media to
divert the issue and drag us on to Kandahar. As such, instead
of discussing internal security and UPA`s inefficacy in
controlling terror, we ended up discussing Kandahar on every

"Failure of the party to motivate the youth, debacle in the Delhi assembly elections and Varun`s hate speech were also the reasons for the party`s defeat," a senior leader added.

He said the party`s humiliating defeat in Delhi before the parliamentary elections gave wrong signals to the masses.

The report also notes that BJP`s vote share has seen a
consistent downfall since 1999 and gone below the 1991 level.

"The gap between the Congress and BJP, that was reducing
upto 1999, has started increasing since. In 2009, the gap has
mounted to 9.75 per cent," it says.

"In terms of total number of votes polled too, the
Congress has polled around four crore more votes than that of
the BJP," it says.

First Published: Friday, August 21, 2009 - 00:01

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