M A I N   N E W S

Sudheendra Kulkarni resigns
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
National Secretary of the BJP and Political Secretary to Party President L.K. Advani, Mr Sudheendra Kulkarni has resigned from both posts and will continue to be a “loyal and sincere” ordinary worker of the BJP.

Kulkarni told reporters here this evening that he was happy that his resignation had been accepted and the BJP was bound to grow and achieve successes under the unparalleled and astute leadership of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and party chief L.K. Advani.

He insisted that there was no pressure from any quarter either from the BJP or the Sangh Parivar to put in his papers.

He came to the BJP in the late 90s and was greatly influenced by Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani. He was categorical that the party required statesmanship and the leadership of both these leaders. He was confident that the BJP and its allies in NDA would prove very well in the upcoming elections in Bihar, expected to be held in late October or in the first half of November.

Mr Kularni’s resignation has not come as a surprise especially after the Advani-Jinnah controversy. It has been on the cards for the past few days but Mr Kulkarni who was away in Mumbai strongly refuted suggestion that he had resigned.

However, his continuance as party National Secretary and Political Secretary to Mr Advani had become highly tenuous. Therefore his resignation from both posts in the BJP was only a matter of time.

In his recent letter to Advani, that was leaked in the media, he had said: “The BJP-RSS relationship will have to be recast. The RSS should not micro-manage the affairs of the party. It must, especially, not make any public comments on the top leaders of the party.”

These comments were strongly contested by the hardliners in the party and the Sangh Parivar, who reportedly asked Advani to accept his resignation.

Criticising the role of the RSS, Kularni had said: “The RSS must realize that the people of India do not like to see their leaders remote controlled by an external entity… the RSS must focus on giving strategic guidance to the Hindu society and on creating men and women of vision and character to take up leadership positions at different levels and in diverse areas of nation-building.”

The leadership of the party was embarrassed by the leak of this letter and reportedly tried to distance itself in view of the implications for Sangh-BJP relationship.

Kularni, who had been earlier associated with Left parties as well, wanted the BJP to “distance itself completely from extremist elements in the VHP, who have derailed the Hindu movement, brought a bad name to the BJP, and weakened the larger nationalist cause.”

He asked the party President to reassert that the BIP was a party with a difference in that it stands for resurgent nationalism, strengthening of democracy, faster all-round development with a pro-poor thrust, good governance and probity in public life.

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