Refrain from criticism in public: Advani to senior BJP Leaders

Refrain from criticism in public: Advani to senior BJP Leaders

With senior BJP party leaders openly engaging in blame each other for Lok Sabha poll defeat, L K Advani on Sunday asked them to refrain from airing criticism in public but said the party should not be found wanting in honest introspection which is different from finger-pointing.

"We should not be found wanting in honest introspection. But introspection is different from finger-pointing," Advani said in his concluding remarks at the BJP national executive meeting here.

Seeking to assure partymen that there was an "internal mechanism" in the party to air grievances, he said adding however that they "should not air their critical views in public".

Advani said the party's stand on Hindutva should not be interpreted as championing the cause of only one religion. Quoting RSS ideologue Balasaheb Deoras, he said BJP did not support the concept of a theocratic state.

In an apparent attempt to distance himself from Varun Gandhi's hate-speech, Advani favoured the line taken by BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain who had contended that Varun's speech had cost the party dear in the elections.

"At our office-bearers meeting two days back, two eminent colleagues of ours affirmed their faith in Hindutva but cautioned against any narrow, bigoted, anti-Muslim interpretation being put on it," he said.

Admitting there were shortcomings, Advani suggested corrective measures, including encouraging young leaders, taking into account the party's needs for the next 20 years.
He also said there was a need for improving the state of the organisation at all levels and strengthening the party.

"It is a matter of concern that our party seems to be plateauing in some states, which are our strongholds, and actually have suffered big reverses in some others," he said.
Advani described the Lok Sabha poll outcome, which saw the party's strength falling from 138 seats to 116, as a "setback but certainly not a rout".

"By decimating the Third and Fourth Fronts, the recent elections have concretized BJP as the only alternative to Congress," he said.

Advani saw an opportunity for BJP in the "demise" of the Third and Fourth Fronts to build a "strong, stable and superior alternative" to Congress.

Known for his rath yatras, Advani said he has decided to tour the entire country to let party cadres know of the "opportunities and tasks" before BJP.

Asking party leaders to gear up for assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, he said there was a need for increasing BJP's independent strength as well as enhance co-ordination with present allies in NDA and other non-Congress forces.

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