M A I N   N E W S

Sudarshan’s remarks quoted
out of context, says RSS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 11
A much embarrassed Bharatiya Janata Party today moved swiftly to control the damage caused by RSS chief K S Sudarshan’s observation made to a TV news channel that the BJP senior leaders L K Advani and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee should retire from active politics paving the way for younger leaders to take over the reins of the party.

After Mr Advani telephonically spoke to Mr Sudarshan, the RSS issued a statement saying that Mr Sudarshan’s observations have been taken out of context.

Mr Advani should continue as the BJP president, Sangh spokesman Ram Madhav said here and added that “The RSS has always held the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani in high esteem and maintained that the party needs their guidance and leadership always.

Mr Madhav quoted a statement from Sangh General Secretary Mohan Bhagwat which praised Mr Advani for his “yeoman contribution” to the party as its president and otherwise also.

“In the past few months the party is trying to reorganise itself well under his (Advani) leadership. Sudarshan himself has commended Advani’s leadership at this crucial hour. The RSS is of the firm view that he should continue as the president of the party”, the statement said.

The RSS statement comes a day after Mr Sudarshan told a news channel that Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani should step aside to make way for younger leaders in the party.

Following the RSS chief’s interview, both Mr Advani and Mr Bhagwat got in touch with Mr Sudarshan, who clarified the Sangh’s position on the issue.

The statement said there was no discussion within the RSS over the leadership question of the BJP. In a damage-control exercise, Mr Sudarshan too had stated this at Nasik last night.

Meanwhile, BJP Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu told newspersons here that the clarification issued by the RSS should be treated as chapter closed.

Replying to a question on second line leadership, Mr Naidu said both Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani had in the past several years have ensured that young leadership have got developed.

“The RSS has always been a source of inspiration for us and we have been taking its guidance on the issues of national interest. We take everything in right spirit”, he said making an effort to present the RSS chief’s critical observation in the right perspective.

“There is no dearth of second or third line leadership in BJP whether at the national level or at the state level....Moreover, no other party other than BJP has such a strong and vibrant second line leadership,” Mr Naidu said listing the names of Arjun Munda Narendra Modi, Vasundhara Raje, Raman Singh, Babulal Gaur at the state level and Rajnath Singh, Shahnawaj Hussain, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Sushma Swaraj and Pramod Mahajan at the party’s central level.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |