Will share part blame, not take responsibility for defeat: Jaitley


New Delhi: Breaking his silence on the attack on him by senior party colleagues for the poll defeat, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley has said he was willing to “share part of” the responsibility for the debacle but not the whole as party seniors were part of the decision making process.

Support TwoCircles

“We all work for the party and try sharing various responsibilities, and therefore whether in victory or in defeat, the party has to think ahead… everybody in the party takes collective responsibility,” Jaitley said in interview to NDTV channel.

The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was responding to questions on the statements of senior party leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha, who had said that Jaitley should take responsibility for the BJP’s defeat in the Lok Sabha polls as he was in-charge of the election campaign.

Reiterating his stand on sharing responsibility, Jaitley said: “I am willing to share part of the credits, discredits as far as our defeat is concerned.”

Refuting the argument that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is losing ground in the state after the party’s defeat in the Junagarh civic polls, Jaitley said: “He (Modi) has governed Gujarat, he has governed it well. Now I think it’s being a little unfair, seeing his performance in the last seven years to say that we won’t give you any credit for the way, the integrity, the competence with which you have led Gujarat.”

Asked if Modi is no more the BJP’s future prime ministerial candidate as this projection during the poll campaign had hampered L.K. Advani’s chances, Jaitley said: “I think in the days of instant journalism people make comments which have validity for a given period of time.

“But don’t forget one fact that there is no last day in the calendar of politics, it’s an evolving calendar. Therefore, you never write obituaries in this manner and never do that in the case of politicians.”

The BJP got 116 seats in the April-May polls, in comparison to 138 in 2004.