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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Advani-RSS ties on the mend as ‘crisis’ ends

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 12, 2013
First Published: 00:13 IST(12/6/2013) | Last Updated: 00:14 IST(12/6/2013)

Senior BJP leader LK Advani’s decision to withdraw his resignation after the intervention of the RSS marks a new chapter in the patriarch’s ties with Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat. It also ends a phase of misgivings between them since Nitin Gadkari was forced to resign before his second term was due to be renewed in January.

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Advani’s decision to abide by the BJP parliamentary board’s decision came after extensive discussions held by Gadkari, which finally concluded with an “all-important” telephonic talk between Bhagwat and Advani.

Till late Monday night, Advani was in no mood to withdraw his resignation. But Gadkari’s arrival in Delhi and his meeting with Advani set the momentum. After all, it was a key role for Gadkari that Advani had sought and became a flash point.

Sushma Swaraj, who is close to Advani, was also at her “persuasive best” to help him to change his mind. Giving a “helping” hand was Sangh ideologue S Gurumurthy.

Apparently, the “reasons” that made Advani feel unheard had gone into details during the discussions undertaken by Gadkari with Bhagwat. So when Gadkari got Bhagwat to speak to Advani, a lot of ground was covered and steps identified to rectify the situation, BJP insiders said.

Advani wanted all future election-related decisions, including that on PM candidate, to be vested with the BJP board and not thrust by anyone on RSS’ behalf. Bhagwat is said to have conveyed that the RSS was in no mind to interfere in the decision-making process.

On his part, Advani was not opposed to Modi heading the BJP’s campaign panel. He had only wished that his suggestion to involve Gadkari in state elections be taken.

Bhagwat’s phone talk was also to reassure Advani that the RSS took his views seriously, about the functioning of certain Sangh functionaries, which had upset him.

Advani had been “piqued” by Sangh’s pointsman, Suresh Soni, and Ramlal, who is RSS’ hand in BJP. It was not clear how they would be advised by top Sangh leaders but a change was on the cards.

A happy Advani then conveyed his willingness to close the chapter. The RSS chief made it clear that there was no question of any bid by anyone to undercut Advani as head of the BJP family, sources said.


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