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Rajnath takes onus for poll debacle
Says BJP committed to Hindutva
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

Rajnath Singh at party’s national executive meeting.
Rajnath Singh at party’s national executive meeting.

New Delhi, June 20
BJP president Rajnath Singh today made a concerted effort to end the controversies raging in the party by owning up responsibility for the Lok Sabha poll debacle.

While delivering his inaugural address at the two-day national executive meeting of the party, Rajnath said, “As the president of the party, I would like to make it clear that as per the BJP’s tradition and ideology, success is a collective credit and failure a collective responsibility. Therefore, we must collectively find solutions. Yes, if anyone feels that any person should take the responsibility, then as the party president I am willing to take the responsibility for the poor results.”

The national executive has met amidst several important BJP leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie raising fundamental questions on the prudence of the party to have handed over the entire command of the elections to their prime ministerial candidate LK Advani and his chief lieutenant Arun Jaitley.

They are also implicitly questioning the decision to reward Advani’s failure and defeat with parliamentary party leadership and his decision to appoint Jaitley the leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha. But in a clear rebuff to leaders like Sudheendra Kulkarni, Advani’s political adviser, and Jaswant Singh, who are advocating moderation and moving away from strident right wing Hindutva, Rajnath Singh today reiterated that the party is committed towards not just Hindutva and right-wing politics but also to its three core issues — Uniform Civil Code, Article 370 and a Ram Janambhoomi temple in Ayodhya.

The BJP president also made a mild appeal to the national executive members to maintain discipline. “The BJP gives primary importance to discipline, principles and programmes of the party. All the state units will have to ensure that the disciplinary mechanism and its principles are upheld with full commitment,” he said.

Strongly defending Hindutva, Rajnath said, “”Some people have started to advise us through newspaper articles that the BJP should now give up Hindutva. Others are propagating that BJP’s defeat signifies the rejection of Hindutva ideology. I would like to ask whether this was a referendum on Hindutva? If not, then how can an adverse election result signify the rejection of our ideology?”

Almost echoing what RSS ideologue MG Vaidya recently wrote about Hindutva, Rajnath said, “Hindutva is an eternal way of life. It is a geo-political concept with a sense of respect and a place for everyone and it is a concept of co-existence. It is the cultural consciousness imbibed with the concept of co-existence which had made Hindutva so benevolent and flexible. It’s the national essence of India.”

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