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Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, July 16, 2013
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has endorsed BJP poll campaign chief Narendra Modi's plan to raise the Ram temple issue in a big way in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

This understanding emerged in a one-on-one meeting - lasting two-and-a-half hours - between Modi and Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters here on Tuesday evening, sources said.

The RSS also indicated to Modi that it could consider him as the prime ministerial candidate if the BJP-led NDA comes to power in the 2014 general elections.

Bhagwat told the BJP leader that without compromising on the Ram temple issue, the party should emphasise the development agenda in the run-up to the elections, the sources said.

Though senior RSS functionaries, including general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi, were present at the RSS headquarters, the Sangh preferred one-on-one discussions between Modi and Bhagwat.

Ramlal, the powerful BJP general secretary (organisation), who is the linkman between the RSS and the BJP, was called into the meeting for a few minutes and asked to convey the outcome of the talks to all senior BJP leaders.

Modi, who arrived here from Odisha, met the RSS leadership for the first time after his elevation as the BJP's poll campaign chief last month.

The Gujarat strongman met other senior Sangh leaders, including RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi, after his talks with Bhagwat.