Leaders’ statements did BJP in: Manjhi

November 09, 2015 07:00 pm | Updated March 25, 2016 01:12 am IST - Patna

Former Chief Minister and leader of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday blamed the controversial statements made by leaders in the run-up to the Bihar polls for the BJP’s crushing defeat.

Mr. Manjhi was the lone victorious candidate of his party that contested in 21 seats as an ally of the BJP.

“The statements and comments made by BJP and RSS leaders caused us defeat in the poll. Amit Shahji should have avoided saying that crackers will burst in Pakistan if the BJP lost. There was absolutely no need for that,” Mr. Manjhi said in Patna.

He was also critical of RSS sarsangchalak Mohan Bhagwat’s statement there was a need to review reservations. “Bhagwat’s feeling was not wrong, but the timing was,” he said.

The “beef issue” was unnecessarily prolonged and it eventually backfired.

“Even the Mushars [low caste] and other sections of the mahadalit were displeased,” he said.

On many issues, the alliance could not put across its opinion effectively and the leaders ended up alienating the voters.

“Also, a CM face in the NDA would have helped,” he said.

Mr. Manjhi contested from two seats, Makhdumpur and Imamganj, but lost his traditional Makhdumpur seat.

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