M A I N   N E W S

No interference in BJP’s internal matters: RSS

Chitrakoot, October 21
The RSS today refuted suggestions that it was interfering in the internal affairs of the BJP, saying it was entirely the prerogative of the party to decide who should be its President or the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

The RSS earlier began a three-day closed-door crucial meeting of its National Executive here against the backdrop of the recent spat between the organisation and the BJP president L.K. Advani.

The meeting is expected to discuss several critical issues, including its relationship with other members of the Sangh Parivar.

Mr Advani has not been invited for the meeting. This is the first time that the BJP chief has not been invited for the deliberations of the RSS.

Addressing a press conference after the first day of the three-day national executive meeting here this evening, RSS spokesperson Adheesh Kumar told newspersons, “To decide upon the new BJP president or Madhya Pradesh chief minister is the sole prerogative of the party.”

He maintained the Sangh had no role in deciding on the BJP leadership, while the allegations of Mr Advani was negated by none other than former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee himself.

Mr Kumar, however, said the RSS would always adhere to its known stance that the BJP encouraged young leadership and followed the principles of collective leadership.

The Sangh reiterated it was high time BJP took measures to put its house in order.

“Suggestions in this regard have been given to the BJP in the past and the role of RSS is limited to this only,” he maintained.

To a poser, the RSS spokesperson said the organisation would have no say in selecting the next BJP chief in December when Mr Advani relinquished the post.

“The RSS would expect the party to follow the suggestions of new leadership, collective leadership and decision making,” he added.

The Sangh denied interference by senior RSS functionary Suresh Soni in Madhya Pradesh politics as alleged by former MP Chief Minister Uma Bharati in a letter to RSS chief K.C. Sudarshan.

“Since the letter was addressed to Mr Sudarshan, he would have his say on the matter during the course of the meeting,” Mr Kumar observed.

Categorically denying any rift between the RSS and BJP, he said the executive meeting never deliberated on redefining the relations between the two organisations.

“The only thing that the RSS does is give suggestions to the BJP from time to time,” he added. — UNI

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