New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat cannot be blamed for the BJP’s rout in Bihar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday, and denied that the BJP was arrogant.
“The prime minister can’t be blamed for the defeat in Bihar,” Rajnath Singh said in a media interaction here, two days after the Grand Alliance worsted the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance in assembly elections.
The minister denied charges that the BJP and its leaders had become arrogant since winning the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. “There cannot be arrogance in our party. We can’t think of becoming arrogant.
“Had we been so (arrogant), we would not have won in other states. We lost (in Bihar) and we accept the verdict.”
Asked why Modi addressed so many election rallies in Bihar, the minister said: “The prime minister was trying his best to communicate with the people, and there is nothing wrong in it.”
Rajnath Singh denied the Bihar loss would affect Modi’s credibility as a mass leader.
“It is the BJP’s and NDA’s electoral loss, not the PM’s loss as a leader.”
The BJP had wanted to oust Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but ended up with only 53 of the 243 seats. The Janata Dal-United, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress won a whopping 178 seats.
Rajnath Singh also defended RSS chief Bhagwat’s controversial statement on job quotas, made during the Bihar election, saying there was “nothing damaging” about it.
“Social equations in Bihar led to the Grand Alliance’s victory. There was nothing damaging in what Bhagwatji said.
“We got good response at our rallies and meetings and there was no sign of the (impending) loss, but the crowds could not be converted into votes,” he said.
The home minister also said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir had improved and infiltration of militants from Pakistan into the Kashmir Valley had sharply fallen since Modi took office.
“In 2013, there were 297 incidents of infiltration and 165 in 2014. This fell to just 10 in 2015,” he said.
He said infiltration attempts by Pakistan-based militants had also come down.
“There were 277 attempted infiltration in 2103 which fell to 222 in 2014 and to 86 in 2015,” he said.
The minister said that since Modi took office in May 2014, 165 terrorists were killed.
In 2013, 67 terrorists were killed and in 2014 this rose to 110, he said. “Two Pakistani terrorists were also arrested.”
The BJP leader said there was no threat to the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir.
The minister said India wanted cordial relations with Pakistan Islamabad must reciprocate.
“Pakistan is our neighbouring country. We want very cordial relations with Pakistan. We also take steps to improve our relations but Pakistan too has to reciprocate.
“We want very good relations with Nepal too. We will do everything for betterment of our relations with our neighbours,” he added.
He also claimed that incidents of Maoist extremism had come down to 33 percent since May 2014.
He denied any significant presence of the Islamic State in India.