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Bhagwat likely to take over as RSS chief

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2009 00:35 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
Bhagwat likely to take over as RSS chief

The talk of a generational shift in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is again doing the rounds. Will Mohan Bhagwat, currently number two, take over from KS Sudarshan?

With a mega RSS conclave before Holi, some Sangh activists see the possibility of Sudarshan, 77, handing over the reins to Bhagwat.

Others rule it out, saying that the Sangh “tradition” allows a change of guard only when the existing chief steps down in favour of his successor on grounds of ill health.

For some months now, Bhagwat has been running the organisation. Sudarshan has stayed away from interactions with top BJP leaders, leaving it to Bhagwat to convey what the RSS wishes to say on key issues.

When RSS and BJP leaders met at LK Advani’s house on January 2, it was Bhagwat who delivered the message to assembled leaders, including Rajnath Singh, MM Joshi, Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj. He said that they must not lose the sight of the goal of the Sangh “in the interest of the nation”.

A senior RSS leader, however, discounted the talk of an imminent change, saying: “The media tend to speculate before our conclave every year, though everyone knows Bhagwatji will succeed Sudarshanji ultimately. What is the secret in this?”