In spite of angry patriarch LK Advani’s resignation from party posts on Monday, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is firm on sticking to the decision to make Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi chairman of Bharatiya Janata Party’s national election campaign committee.
Believed to be a key architect behind Modi’s elevation, the Sangh, ideological mentor of saffron organisations, feels BJP should try and mollify Advani, but not by diluting or taking back the decision taken at the party’s Goa conclave.
Sources said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat conveyed to BJP chief Rajnath Singh that there was no question of going back on Modi's elevation.
The Sangh’s official response was bland. “It is unfortunate. The BJP should try to convince Advaniji to take his resignation back,” BJP leader Ram Madhav said.
But a top RSS functionary told HT that it was now Advani’s call after he had taken the uncharacteristic step.
“A decision has been announced and it doesn’t make sense to take it back or modify it,” he said. “In our assessment, the BJP may not accept his resignation. If he doesn’t take it back, the party may sit on it and allow time to take care of it.”
The idea: BJP will tire Advani out.
While Rajnath is likely to stick to his stand rejecting his resignation and not letting him play the martyr, Advani would not be able to participate in decision-making without going back on his announcement. If Advani withdraws his resignation, it would be interpreted as accepting fait accompli.
On June 6, top RSS leader Suresh Soni told Rajnath that there was no gain in postponing the announcement on Modi.
The Sangh conveyed its view, and asked him to see how it could be implemented.
Advani’s absence did create confusion but Rajnath— constantly in touch with the Sangh and Advani — announced the decision on Sunday, despite Advani staying away citing illness.
RSS and Advani have shared a long and uneasy relationship over who calls the shots in the BJP.
However, veteran RSS ideologue MG Vaidya, said, “It’s shocking that a leader of such a great stature has to quit. It is now evident that all is not well in the BJP. Some other leaders and Advani’s followers too may tender resignations.”