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Rumblings of discontent in BJP follow party defeat in Bihar

Rumblings of discontent in BJP follow party defeat in Bihar

New Delhi: Rumblings of discontent in the BJP followed the party's disastrous performance in Bihar Assembly elections Sunday with its president Amit Shah coming under attack over the "high-pitched" campaign crafted by him.

"It seems that the low-key GA(Grand Alliance)campaign and its decision to project soft-spoken Nitish Kumar as the Chief Ministerial candidate did the trick, with voters rejecting the high-pitched BJP campaign crafted by party president Amit Shah," said Chandan Mitra, a BJP MP and journalist. Mitra also said there is a need to cultivate a strong local party leadership in Bihar.

Noting that it is an established fact that when casteism determines voting intentions in North Indian States, the BJP ends up as the main loser, Mitra said, "And in the attempt to match caste with caste, BJP strategists erred in their calculations." Mitra was expressing his views in a blogpost on NDTV.

Sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha termed the grand alliance's win as "victory of democracy" and took a swipe at the top party brass, saying the issue of "Bihari versus Bahri" has been settled once and for all.

"Congratulations to Laluji & Nitishji for this victory in Bihar elections. We bow before people's mandate. It is the victory of democracy and the people of Bihar. I salute them.

It appears that the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari Babu's absence) has been settled once and for all," the actor-turned politician said in a series of tweets.

"The call of the day is introspection, modified and better strategy, teamwork and coordination in the future.

Salute once again to Biharis," Sinha, BJP MP from Patna Sahib, advised the party leadership in another tweet.

R K Singh, a BJP MP from Bihar who had criticised the party's ticket distribution before the polls, said there should be introspection and responsibility fixed.

"There should be introspection. There should be examination of what went wrong," the bureaucrat-turned politcian said.

On BJP ticket distribution, Singh said, "it is not a question of thinking but a fact. Go and check up. People who were chargesheeted for crimes like dacoity were given tickets.

That is not something which I expected from my party."

Adding salt to BJP's wounds, NDA ally Shiv Sena hailed JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar as "mahanayak" (super hero) and said defeat "denotes decline of a leader" in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The results will pose a larger problem for Prime Minister Modi, already hamstrung by the Opposition's strength in the Rajya Sabha. A more politically inclusive approach towards Opposition parties is what the doctor will definitely prescribe," Chandan Mitra said.

Mitra also said that it must be borne in mind that the BJP had never emerged as the leading political force in caste-dominated Bihar.

"Thus it tried to stitch up alliances with marginal players like Upendra Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi, the extent of whose own political support was questionable," he said.

"In order to become a viable alternative to the Nitish-Lalu combine, the BJP needs to assiduously build its base, overcoming the formidable challenge of caste alliances which tend to work against the BJP's ideological core. In this context, the need to cultivate a powerful local leadership cannot be overstated," he added.

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