The Bharatiya Janata Party’s search for the next party president to succeed Rajnath Singh gathered momentum on Tuesday.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat held a luncheon meeting with senior BJP leader L K Advani amid indications that both sides wished to hasten the pace of finding a party chief, as Singh’s term ends in December.
While the RSS has been insisting on new faces from “outside Delhi” to take charge, Advani favours a known face to arrest the party’s slide.
Although the Maharashtra and Haryana poll results worsened the party’s outlook, the RSS finds that the BJP leadership wants “some freedom” to settle the issue.
Many BJP and RSS leaders believe that any change in leadership or even an indication could enthuse the party before the next trial of strength — the assembly elections in Jharkhand.
Bhagwat has been insisting that the RSS stands by the agreement with Advani in the last week of August that Advani should decide when he wishes to quit as Leader of Opposition.
Advani, who will turn 82 on November 8, is under pressure from his detractors in the party to exit early since it is clear that he will not be leading it in the 2014 general elections. But he has also told some key leaders that he did not wish to stay “beyond necessary”.
A day after his remark on what kind of treatment was needed to salvage the BJP created a flutter, Bhagwat clarified that he did not specifically mean the party needed “chemotherapy” when he was asked a question by the media about how the party should revive itself.