Advani alone can't be held responsible for defeat: Naidu


"There are various reasons...different states behaved in different manner. It is not about leaders alone," Naidu said.

He was responding to a question by Karan Thapar in the 'Devil's Advocate' programme on CNN-IBN whether Advani's age and his hardliner image was the reason behind BJP's defeat.

The former BJP president said no individual is responsible for the party's performance and, therefore, Advani cannot be held solely responsible.

"Of Advaniji there is no comparison in this country. There were local factors. If Advani is rejected or Manmohan Singh is accepted, there has to be uniform trend across the country, small, minor exceptions. That is not the case. You have seen good results in number of states," he added.

He said Advani's image is of a decisive leader. He termed as "propaganda by some of our opponents" suggestions that Advani's image as a hardliner worked against the party.

"Whoever knows Advani, they all know that he is a nationalist to the core. He thinks of the entire nation, not about any section."

Naidu said "politics was not a T-20 cricket match, it is a life-long mission...you lose one election then you discard the leader. Congress lost in 1999, so they discarded the leader," he quipped.

He said nobody in the BJP attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh personally. "Nobody talked about his height, nobody talked about his weight. People talked about his performance...you know the performance."

To a question on whether attacks on the PM worked against the BJP, Naidu said as far as the "public is concerned, I don't think there is an issue on which people have not voted for us." He said some Congressmen could have projected the BJP's stand on the PM's performance as a personal attack before the people.

On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi failing as the 'star campaigner' of the party, Naidu said: "He was one of the main campaigner, no doubt...Narendra Modi is an effective campaigner, he was the campaigner, he will be the campaigner."

He said "a good number of seats were won" where Modi campaigned...you cannot win or lose elections by one campaign or one meeting. It is a collective effort by the entire party."

He said the term "star campaigner" has been coined by the media.

Naidu said the BJP will carry out a "truthful analyses" of the reasons for its poor performance.

"We were hoping for the best performance this time. We were expecting we will cross the (year) 1999 182 (MPs) mark...but the results went otherwise," he added.

He said people were unhappy with "roadblocks and the breaks of the Left and the likes. They wanted the government at the Centre to be free from this so that they can take the country forward. In that the Congress had some advantage of more presence in more states and also had good alliances...circumstances helped them in states like Kerala where there is anti-incumbency."

He said the minorities had moved towards Congress, which gave it the advantage as compared to the BJP.

Naidu said most of the Indians believe in moderation and the party had been trying to put that across in the best possible manner before the people. But unfortunately, on certain issues, "negative impact" was created in the minds of people.

Naidu lamented that the media "unfortunately" did not take the issues raised by the BJP "seriously".

He admitted that BJP's response to Ram Sene in Karnataka went against the party all over India, except in that state

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