M A I N   N E W S

Atal’s statement sets RSS thinking
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s reiteration today at Manali that ‘Gujarat’ will be discussed at BJP’s forthcoming National Executive meeting in Mumbai has put a question mark on the future of the Hinduatva movement with the Sangh parivar showing signs of nervousness.

“What issues the BJP National Executive will take up has to be decided by the party leadership. But what we are concerned about is any move by the party leadership to portray that the party lost the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls because of Gujarat riots, will be contrary to reality,” RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav told The Tribune here.

“By making such a blanket statement Mr Vajpayee could earn praise for himself, but what will happen to the Hindu movement launched by the Sangh Parivar?,” Mr Madhav asked.

The RSS spokesperson asserted that his organisation had clear feedback from the grassroots level that BJP’s debacle in the just-concluded elections was not due to Gujarat.

In this context it may be recalled that BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu had initially while ruling out leadership change in Gujarat had also said that there will not be any discussion on ‘Gujarat’ at the National Executive meeting. However, compelled by Mr Vajpayee’s assertion he had subsequently stated that the Gujarat issue could be debated separately on the sidelines of the meet in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, no senior BJP leaders were present at the party headquarters here today to comment either on Mr Vajpayee’s reassertion or on the RSS’s statement.

While party president M Venkaiah Naidu and General Secretaries Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley were out of station, party Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi kept himself away from the glare of the media and avoided making any comments.

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