With Nitin Gadkari becoming the new president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress today said the opposition party has changed the team which led it to “failure” in two successive general elections in 2004 and 2009.

“After BJP lost two Lok Sabha elections in a row, they perhaps wanted to change the team which led them to the failure,” party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

Though he described it as an “internal matter of BJP and the [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] RSS”, the Congress leader said that the “failure of the team” may have led to the changes.

Asked whether the Advani era was over in Indian politics, he retorted, “there was never any Advani era in politics“.

He said, “When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in active politics, Advani was his shadow. When he came out of the shadow and wanted to do something of his own, he called M. A. Jinnah as secular”.

Mr. Ahmed said the political downfall of Mr. Advani started the day he called Jinnah as secular.

“Had Jinnah been alive, he would have never claimed that he was secular,” the spokesman said.

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