Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Sunday warned his partymen against airing critical views in public as he underlined the party's "culture of discipline".
In an oblique reference to senior leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha who went public with their criticism of the party, Advani said in his concluding remarks to the BJP's two-day national executive here that its purpose was to find the reasons for the poll debacle and "not apportion blame".
He said: "The only constraint on the participants in this exercise, which is an important part of the BJP's culture of discipline, is that they should not air their critical views in public."
Advani also advised the party leadership that the soul-searching should be "broadbased" to ensure all sections of the party "at all levels" could put their views across.
"They should feel that their voice is heard and taken seriously. This is important for maintaining the motivation of our cadres and supporters, and for further strengthening their bonds with the party," he said.
Sinha quit all party posts - vice-president, national executive member and in-charge of Karnataka affairs, demanding that responsibility should be fixed for the poll debacle.
Singh wondered at the disconnect between "results and rewards" hinting at Arun Jaitley, who was the key poll manager but was promoted as leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha by Advani. Jaitley quit as general secretary after his elevation.
Both had made these observations in letters to party president Rajnath Singh and the contents leaked out to the media, while they spoke of the party's need to introspect in interviews to journalists.
Advani gave a clear message to the party that he stood by Jaitley and began his speech by congratulating him for becoming the leader of opposition in the upper house as well as Sushma Swaraj as deputy leader in the Lok Sabha after Advani.