A day after getting decimated in the Bihar Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday held a Parliamentary Board meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, to analyse the results.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the party "respects the mandate given by the people".
Blaming the formation of the Mahagathbandhan for the defeat of the BJP-led NDA alliance, Jaitley said, "The main cause of our defeat in Bihar is the coming together of the opponents – RJD, JDU and Congress."
He further said that the vote transferability in Mahagathbandhan was much better than that in the NDA.
The BJP, however, asserted that the quota remark of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was not a reason for the defeat of the NDA in the state.
Jaitley said that the Centre would continue to provide all possible held to the state government even after the poll defeat. He added, "We will play the role of a strong opposition."
Responding to a question of possible action against BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, who has been vocal against the strategy of the party in Bihar, Jaitley said, "We expect all party leaders to use cordial language."
This came even as some Bihar leaders, including BJP MP from Madhubani Hukumdev Narayan Yadav have said that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's quota comments cost the party. He also cautioned the party leaders from making objectionable comment, which went against the party's poll strategy in the state.
"RSS statement was wrongly timed and because of this statement backward class thought their rights would be taken away and some upper class leader would be the Chief Minister. They aggressively voted against us cause of this statement and Lalu and Nitish capitalized on this. The backward class thought jobs will taken away, we could not defend it much. Communalism should be avoided. Polarizing electorate caused us a lot. There is no big state leader in the state and we need to strengthen our local leadership," said Yadav.
The BJP-led NDA could bag only 58 seats in Bihar while the Mahagathbandhan won 178.