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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Modi meets RSS chief, says Sangh not involved on PM candidate issue

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times  Nagpur, October 21, 2012
First Published: 08:31 IST(21/10/2012) | Last Updated: 17:52 IST(21/10/2012)

Wary of possible non-cooperation and any attempt to playing spoilsport by a section of RSS workers, particularly the supporters of Keshubhai Patel and Sanjay Joshi in the ensuing state elections, the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi air-dashed here on Sunday morning and reportedly sought help from the RSS supremo, Mohan Bhagwat, in this regard.

Modi arrived in a special plane from Ahmedabad and headed straight to RSS headquarters at Mahal. Closeted in an over three and a half hour discussions with senior RSS leaders, including Bhagwat, the RSS general secretary, Bhaiyyaji Joshi and joint general secretary, Suresh Soni,  Gujarat chief minister is believed to have deliberated on the current political scenario and the RSS rebels in Guajarat.

While the RSS and Modi himself were not forthcoming on what transpired at the meeting, there was speculation that the Gujarat chief minister could have sought the RSS leadership’s help in controlling damage from the splinter groups led by Keshubhai and other Sangh parivar leaders,  Sanjay Joshi and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia, who are creating problems for him.

File photo of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

While Modi functions as a one-man party in his state, there are worries that once a pracharak of Gujarat state, Joshi who got good public reception at Surat recently and Patel’s new party could attract pro-RSS minded people to work against Modi.

However, Modi denied having any political discussion with the RSS leaders.  “Being a swayamsevak I had come here to meet the senior RSS leaders after a long spell. This city (the RSS headquarters) is a place of reverence for me,” he said.

The local RSS sources said that Modi had discussed the election strategies and his stance of not inviting the BJP leaders from Bihar during the elections campaign as BJP’s ally, the JD (U) and its leadership always considered him as “untouchable” and prevented him to campaign in Bihar.

However, the RSS leadership here advised him not to demonstrate such “antipathy” publicly as it could prove as counter product in northern India.

During the interaction with the senior RSS leader, the Gujarat chief minister also apprised them about his recent Vivekanand Yatra, on the occasion of Swami Vivekanand’s 150th birthday, as a part of pre-election campaign and claimed that the response to the yatra was excellent.

On a question that if the meeting has anything to do with demand raised by the veteran lawyer and MP, Ram Jethmalani that Modi should be projected as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014 general elections, he refused any comment.


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