After media reports suggested that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wanted BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani to have the final say in matters of dispute in the party, Advani on Sunday denied them saying there were “no differences” in the ranks.
Sources in the BJP said media reports pushed the party rank and file into a serious brainstorming, culminating in a phone call from RSS general secretary Mohan Bhagwat to Advani, who was touring Gujarat on Sunday. After talking to Bhagwat, Advani told reporters that there were no differences between him and party chief Rajnath Singh.
“Let me tell you very frankly that there are no differences at all between us. Rajnath Singh is a great party worker and is working very hard to see BJP's victory in next parliamentary elections," Advani said in Gandhi Nagar.
Sources said Advani also called up Singh and had a detailed talk with him on the issue.
“A day after RSS advice of proper dialogue and coordination among the top brass, the report seemed very ironic and it urgently needed to be clarified,” a RSS leader said.
A top BJP functionary too denied the reports. “Even in times of Vajpayee's unchallenged leadership in the party, there have been many party presidents and there have been no questions of a clash between the leadership. All decisions by the president are taken in consultation with the seniors,” he said.
On Friday the RSS and top BJP functionaries had met at Advani's residence for a brain-storming session to discuss the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, Speaking at a conference of the Gujarat State Primary Teacher's Federation in Ahmedabad, Advani unveiled an ambitious 'Five-Point Promise' for promotion of primary and secondary education in India. It will be implemented if the NDA comes to power in the next Lok Sabha elections.
The ambitious plans promises to double the Central budget for education, healthcare; accelerating universalisation of primary education, universal secondary education; recruitment of 10 lakh more teachers; and promotion of public-private partnerships to ensure basic minimum infrastructure in schools.
Underscoring the need of having a Shikshak Aawas Yojana to ensure that every teacher in India has his or her own house, Advani said: “All-out efforts would be made to attract the best talent for teaching profession.”
Advani lamented the alarming mismatch between India's need and performance in the area of education.