The BJP has once again become a matter of concern for its fountainhead, the RSS.
After a brainstorming session with BJP leaders last week, top RSS leaders are meeting in Jodhpur from Monday to see what corrective measures are needed to bring the party back in form.
At the “core” of RSS leaders’ concern is the “drift” in the BJP and its failure to revive as an Opposition party under Nitin Gadkari , who was handpicked by the Sangh to stem the rot in the party and arrest the slide witnessed between 2004 and 2009.
“It’s not the question of a single individual,” said a RSS official when asked whether the Sangh was not satisfied with Gadkari’s performance. “It’s only six months since he took charge. We have to give him more time so that he succeeds in implementing the mandate given to him.”
Another RSS functionary said, “our concern is the direction of the BJP. We have not seen the kind of change that is needed in the party to put it back on rails.”
At the brainstorming session between RSS and BJP leaders, proposals to improve the BJP were discussed, including a suggestion from L.K. Advani for a “unified” command in the party so that a single individual had the final say, such as Sonia Gandhi in the Congress.
But the RSS and some BJP leaders continue to favour a “collegium” approach for a collective decision.
Gadkari is yet to focus on ideological issues and prefers to go along on “as is where is” basis, say RSS and BJP leaders.
He, however, assured RSS leaders he would be more “pro-active” and hasten up on allocation of work to office bearers.
Acting in that spirit, he broke the logjam over Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, visiting the latter’s home in Bangalore to persuade him to withdraw his resignation on the basis of an appeal by Advani , who was initially against himself getting embroiled in the matter.
Advani was “persuaded” by Gadkari and BJP leaders including Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad to issue the appeal to Hegde.
Gadkari made a personal assurance to Hegde on the BJP’s commitment to stem corruption in the state.