He complains about lack of consultations among senior leaders on key issues
Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani on Thursday met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat here and aired his grievances over the functioning of the party leadership, but he failed to get any assurance from latter.
Mr. Advani had raised a banner of revolt after the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the party hierarchy.
The RSS chief, who had prevailed upon Mr. Advani to take back his resignation from three top positions in the BJP, agreed for the meeting on the request of the senior leader.
Interestingly, the RSS made it a point to put out a brief statement on the meeting. It said, “In a detailed and candid interaction, Shri Advaniji conveyed his views on various developments in the country and the role of the party and the broad nationalist movement led by the sangh.
“It was opined that several issues need further discussion and exchange of notes at various levels. Same will take place at appropriate time. Shri Bhagwatji also suggested that such useful exchange of views should continue in future also.”
Informed sources said Mr. Advani complained about lack of consultations among senior leaders on matters of importance and the resultant drift in the party functioning. Less than 24 hours after the anointment of Mr. Modi at the Goa BJP National Executive, Mr. Advani had shot off a terse letter to party president Rajnath Singh, triggering a furore within the party. He was forced to retreat after the RSS chief intervened.
In his letter, Mr. Advani had said, “For some time, I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going ... most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas.”
It was crystal clear at that stage itself that the RSS has thrown its weight behind Mr. Modi and there would be no going back on his appointment as the chief of the election campaign committee. Among other BJP leaders, the RSS chief also met with M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Since the RSS message, all senior leaders in the BJP have been hinting openly that Mr. Modi would be projected as the prime ministerial candidate ahead of the 2014 general election. At a press conference here earlier in the day, Mr. Naidu, in response to questions on who would be the party’s face for the Lok Sabha polls, shot back, “You all know it and every one is taking the same name.”
Mr. Advani, who has not given up his prime ministerial ambitions, is of the view that the elevation of Mr. Modi is a big gamble, which the party could perhaps ill-afford as the era of coalition is the order of the day which makes it imperative for the BJP to project itself as a political entity that can take every one on board.
He is a proponent of the ‘NDA-plus’ formula, which allows several like-minded people under the same platform with a strong message to minorities and SCs/STs that they are stakeholders in the political grouping.
Mr. Advani’s view on this count appears to have been strengthened after the exit of the JD(U) from the NDA on the Modi issue. But there seem to be no takers on his assessment within the RSS and the BJP.