As the shell-shocked BJP leadership began an informal exercise on Saturday to analyse the reasons for its dismal performance in the UP elections, the saffron party’s ideological fountainhead RSS blamed the party for not adopting an aggressive Hindutva approach. It was, however, all praise for BSP supremo Mayawati for what it described as “Hindu social engineering” and compared her strategy of wooing the electorate with a “soft Hindutva line” to that of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
“Of course, she did not play the Hindu card. But like Indira Gandhi, on an altogether different format in the eighties, Mayawati subtly advanced a soft Hindutva line,” stated the RSS mouthpiece Organiser in its latest issue.
The election result has also embarrassed the RSS leadership since it was their nominee Rajnath Singh who replaced LK Advani as the party president. “The BJP lost steam midway. Its campaign got stuck between half-hearted Hindutva and development governance... Issues like building a Ram Temple were in the background. An aggressive Hindutva approach would have ensured greater success. But the party was extremely restrained,” according to the Organiser analysis. Though it observed that the poll outcome was setback for the BJP, the RSS publication, however, refrained from putting any blame on Rajnath Singh except mentioning that though he belonged to the state it did not help the party.
BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who was actively involved in the election management, however does not agree with the Sangh’s accusation. “Hindutva or mandir can never be political issues for any party. Nor will people accept them. Hindutva is our ideological commitment and we will stand by it,” he stated while reacting to the Organiser article.
He asserted that an anti-Mulayam Singh sentiment was the overriding issue, and the only “visible option” before them was Mayawati’s BSP.
Meanwhile, RSS pointsman Ram Lal, along with a team of party members, will review the poll outcome. An interesting fact has come to light that the party has lost in the constituencies where the party bigwigs like Advani, Rajnath, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned while it has won in the constituencies where none of them had campaigned.