The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh did not invite Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to its special meeting in Vadodara from September 7 to 9 despite the BJP strongman being keen on meeting the organisation's top brass.
"Modi had conveyed his desire to meet the top leaders, but the Sangh
decided not to invite him or any other Bharatiya Janata Party leader," a RSS leader said on Wednesday.
The state BJP leadership was cagey about speaking on the RSS decision, which has triggered talk of a strain in ties between the Sangh and Modi.
"RSS is a separate organisation, our leaders don't attend their meetings," said a BJP leader who insisted on not being named.
Apart from discussing the political situation, corruption and agitations against the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, more than 50 top RSS leaders also brainstormed on the general elections due in 2014.
The Sangh meet ended two days before Modi launched his poll campaign for a third stint in the state. A victory is expected to boost Modi's prospects at the national level.
Modi has had a series of run-ins with the RSS - considered the ideological and spiritual guide of BJP - this year.
In June, Modi had apparently arm-twisted BJP president Nitin Gadkari into removing rival Sanjay Joshi, a former RSS pracharak, from the party's national executive.
Later, three senior RSS pracharaks in Gujarat were removed as they were reportedly working with Keshubhai Patel, the former chief minister who has launched a political party to damage Modi's prospects in the Gujarat assembly polls due in December.
Incidentally, top RSS functionary Suresh Soni had visited Ahmedabad before Patel announced formation of his political outfit, the Gujarat Parivartan Party.
According to a source privy to the dynamics of the Modi-Patel standoff, Soni had held a series of meetings with both the leaders separately, but failed to hammer out a compromise.
© Copyright © 2013 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.