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Field candidates with clean image: RSS to BJP

The message, on the first day of the three-day national executive meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was clear. With barely six months left for crucial general elections, the RSS was taking pole position.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2013 01:12 IST
Ramesh Babu

The Sangh Parivar has a stern message for the BJP – choose leaders carefully, look out for spotless politicians.

“This is how Dr Harsh Vardhan got an edge over Vijay Goel in Delhi,” an RSS functionary told HT on Friday.

The message, on the first day of the three-day national executive meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was clear. With barely six months left for crucial general elections, the RSS was taking pole position.

On Wednesday, the BJP named Vardhan, a former Delhi health minister, as its chief ministerial candidate for the assembly elections to be held on December 4.

The party ignored Delhi BJP chief Goel, who had earlier emerged as a strong contender. Besides the RSS, party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also favoured Vardhan.

Originally a BJP plank, corruption has become the battle cry of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party and so has the need for candidates to have a clean record. Forced to follow suit in Delhi, the BJP might extend it to Goa. Manohar Parrikar, the Goa CM who has a good track record and was earlier shortlisted by the RSS for the BJP president’s post before Nitin Gadkari’s elevation in 2009, is likely to get more say in the party (BJP), the RSS functionary added.

Many in the parivar also feel that since they strongly batted for Modi, negating patriarch LK Advani’s chances, they would have to go an extra mile to ensure his victory. So, the RSS has to oil its grassroots machinery well.