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Why RSS is unhappy

The RSS appears to be keen that the political initiative in the wake of the nuclear debate should not shift into the hands of either the communists or regional players, reports Pankaj Vohra.

delhi Updated: Jul 21, 2008 23:58 IST
Pankaj Vohra

The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) appears to be keen that the political initiative in the wake of the nuclear debate should not shift into the hands of either the communists or regional players. If that happens it will be at the expense of the Sangh Parivar and its political wing, the BJP that has been trying to project itself as an alternative to the present government.

This view, if it gets translated into action during the voting on the confidence motion tomorrow, could help in bailing out the UPA government that has been fighting with its back to the wall for survival. Informed sources said that there was every possibility that some of the BJP MPs may not vote on the issue on Tuesday.

According to the RSS perception, the strengthening of regional forces and communists could lead to a weak nation. Therefore between the “two evils'”, the RSS may prefer UPA to the communists.

The sources said a section of the RSS leadership is greatly disappointed with the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani’s speech in the Lok Sabha on Monday and feels that it missed out on some basic Hindutva issues. Advani’s speech was perceived as “weak on facts’’ and did not touch on the Sangh Parivar agenda, the sources noted.

The RSS believes that the growing perception of the Left and the regional forces getting stronger has to be checkmated without any further delay. This perception posed greater threat to national security and integrity and plus and minus points of the nuclear deal were relatively insignificant issues that could be thrashed out subsequently.

The sources said the RSS also believes that the BJP had abdicated its role of the principal opposition party by its actions in the first few years of this government and the Communists were playing a dual and contradictory role of supporting the government from outside and opposing it on various issues. As a result, the opposition tag did not remain the sole prerogative of the BJP.

The Sangh is further worried that ever since the conflict on the nuclear deal started with the Left, the BJP had been relegated to the background and the communists and regional players had taken the centre-stage. Mayawati’s emergence as a leader who could be a rallying point is also a cause of concern, given the dim view the Sangh has of her leadership capacity.

In the Sangh’s perception, bringing down this government will not serve their agenda and will unleash forces that will be difficult to contain later. In the game of political upmanship, there is little scope for the BJP to assert itself as the principal opposition party "at the moment".

Some Sangh leaders met a fortnight ago at a small conclave near the Delhi-Haryana border. In that conclave, a few top leaders had expressed their dissatisfaction over how Advani was shaping up as the prime ministerial candidate.