MEERUT: Veteran BJP leader and one of the party's founding members Sanghpriya Gautam Sunday suggested radical changes within the organisation and the government if the saffron party wishes to retain power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls.
The 88-year-old leader advocated making former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan the party chief, Union minister Nitin Gadkari the deputy prime minister and Home Minister Rajnath Singh the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
"If it is not done, it will difficult for Narendra Modi to come back as prime minister," the former Union minister told PTI over phone.
Changes in the organisation and the government were necessary to save the party and enthuse the workers, he said.
His statements come in the backdrop of BJP facing electoral losses in three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, besides failing to perform well in Telangana and Mizoram in recently held elections.
He counted some reasons for the party's and the government's "poor performance".
"Talking about amending the Constitution, replacing the planning commission with the Niti Aayog, interfering with the working of the Supreme Court, the RBI, the CBI and decisions taken in the economic sector had adverse impact," he said.
"Also, indulging in horse-trading for forming governments in Goa and Manipur, imposing President's Rule in Uttarakhand and forming government in Karnataka for one day were irrational decisions," according to the leader.
Gautam said he wrote an open letter to the party on December 13 about these issues.
In his letter he wrote that takin up issues of religion, "mandir-masjid politics", renaming cities and increase in violence in the name of cow protection, while "ignoring" the problem of corruption, price rise and black money led to the public "losing its faith" in the party, he said.
"It is necessary for the BJP to come back to power and Modi to become prime minister once again. But alongside that changes in the party and government are also imperative. Change will fill the workers with trust," he said.