M A I N   N E W S

Next BJP head to have Sangh’s stamp
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
Despite BJP President L.K. Advani’s swipe at the RSS during the just-concluded National Executive Meeting of the party in Chennai, party insiders strongly felt that the Sangh will have an overbearing influence on who will be the successor to Mr Advani, who has decided to demit presidentship in December.

“It has been the normal practice for BJP leaders to consult RSS functionaries before taking any major decision and in the case of appointment of a new party president too there will be consultation...and the decision will definitely be influenced by the Sangh,” a top BJP leader told The Tribune on the condition of anonymity.

Without mincing any words, the leader, known to be close to the RSS, said “if the RSS wants the BJP to stick to its ideology, it will have to ensure that the next person to occupy the BJP President’s position is committed to Sangh’s ideology.”

“No doubt the decision to appoint or elect the new president is the party’s internal affair, but one cannot avoid the Sangh’s influence in decision making as majority of leaders and cadre of the BJP are from the RSS,” he said.

It may be recalled that Mr Advani had yesterday created a ripple within the BJP as well as in the Sangh when he took swipe at the RSS during his concluding remarks at the Chennai BJP National Executive.

The BJP leadership, he noted, had no hesitation in “consulting the RSS functionaries” and then taking “its own independent decisions”. Some of these decision “may differ” and have indeed differed “from the stated positions of the RSS and certain constituents of the Sangh Parivar”.

Mr Advani then went on to say, “But lately an impression has gained ground that no political or organisational decision can be taken without the consent of the RSS functionaries. This perception, we hold, will do no good either to the party or to the RSS.”

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