Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday denied attacking BJP veterans including L.K. Advani and said the party leadership was discussing with them the issues they raised after the Bihar rout."Party elders including Advani and M.M. Joshi are our highly respected leaders and neither I nor any other party functionary has ever shown any disrespect to them," he said in a statement.Gadkari said "there was absolutely no question of anyone suggesting (seeking an) explanation from them and demanding disciplinary action against them".He refuted media reports that he had demanded action against the party veterans who questioned the BJP leadership after the party suffered a major defeat in the Bihar assembly elections.
"Reports in a section of the media indicating that I have suggested to party president Amit Shah to initiate disciplinary action against them are absolutely incorrect and misleading," he said.Advani, Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar issued a joint statement demanding that responsibility should be fixed for the party's dismal show in Bihar.The statement was widely seen as an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah.Gadkari, however, has maintained that the Bihar setback was a collective responsibility of the party."The Bihar debacle is the collective responsibility of the party and not of any individual. "I have told Shah to initiate stringent action against those making irresponsible statements and causing damage to the party's image," Gadkari was quoted as saying on Thursday.