RSS may have say in government formation

Meetings between senior BJP leaders and RSS brass fuel speculation

May 19, 2014 04:00 am | Updated November 16, 2021 07:45 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Hectic meetings between the BJP seniors and the RSS brass on Sunday continued to fuel speculation that the role of the “socio-cultural organisation” is not entirely over yet.

Senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra and Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan were among the leaders who met the RSS brass here. The meetings were described as “routine” and “courtesy calls” by the BJP. The >RSS on its part has also denied that it has a wish list for the party.

“We have no demands … Mr. Modi is his own man, he takes his own decisions,” Ram Madhav, national leader of the RSS, told The Hindu .

But BJP-RSS watchers caution that the RSS will continue to have a say in the government formation as well as the administration.

Soon after the thumping victory, the BJP did not forget to thank the faceless, nameless RSS workers who toiled diligently to help the party win the elections. The RSS, too, did not shy away from acknowledging its contribution to the election campaign. As permutations and combinations of who will make it to the council of ministers get under way, there is an indication that the RSS’ approval will be sought before the final announcement.

In the past as well as now, the RSS has never shied away from acknowledging the Sangh Parivar’s contribution in helping the BJP revive its fortunes. Disagreements between the Sangh and the BJP — that first emerged in 1982 when the Sangh disapproved of the party’s “experiment with Gandhian socialism” and then again after the NDA’s six-year rule, where the falling out was among other things over “liberalisation” — have had an adverse impact on the BJP’s electoral fortunes.

“The Parivar chose to support the BJP and Mr. Modi in the 2014 elections because of the misrule of the UPA government, the way Gujarat government and Mr. Modi were targeted and because of the Congress’s open support to Islamic terrorism, blaming the RSS for the 26/11 Mumbai attack and calling it Hindu terror. The Parivar realised that this government is a great danger to this country,” Mr. Madhav said asserting that the organisation’s support was limited to galvanising support for the BJP.

Sources in the RSS said Mr. Modi’s “no-nonsense” approach and the “turnaround” in Gujarat with him as the Chief Minister made it easier to bury the “personality-based” difference that the RSS cadres in Gujarat had with him.

“Just as the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was accused of running the Manmohan Singh-led government using a remote control, the BJP will have the RSS tugging at its reins. If the BJP-led NDA government’s earlier tenure is used as reference, we know how despite being a tall leader and an able administrator, even Atal Bihari Vajpayee had to concede space to the RSS. We will have to see how Mr. Modi retains his independence and keeps the Sangh happy,” said a political commentator not wishing to be named.

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