Heeding RSS advice, BJP leaders head for UP | india | Hindustan Times
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Heeding RSS advice, BJP leaders head for UP

With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) brokering a truce among top BJP leaders, party veterans have now shifted their focus to Uttar Pradesh (UP), reports Manish Chandra Pandey.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2009 00:38 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey

With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) brokering a truce among top BJP leaders, party veterans have now shifted their focus to Uttar Pradesh (UP).

The immediate worry for the party is to make its presence felt in the 11 assembly and one Lok Sabha seat in UP, where by-polls are due soon.

As RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat headed for Haridwar in Uttarakhand, several top BJP leaders headed for UP. Senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi reached Varanasi on Monday while the party’s National General Secretary Vinay Katiyar rushed to Saharanpur. Rajya Sabha MP Kalraj Mishra traveled to Aonla.

They went to these destinations ostensibly to participate in the special drive to induct new members into the state unit of the party.

BJP president Rajnath Singh, in the eye of the storm, was also slated to reach his parliament constituency, Ghaziabad. Party sources, who did not want to be named, said the reason why most top BJP leaders were touching base after ‘participating’ in the free-for-all in Delhi was to follow the ‘advice’ (read warning) by the RSS to the leaders to “first deserve, then desire”.

“There are only a handful of leaders now who can rightly call themselves mass leaders. Leaders are losing touch with the masses as is evident from the election results. So, it’s no surprise that everyone from the party president to other leaders are heading for UP, the state they represent and where the party needs to really brace itself,” the source said.

With the senior leaders showing the way, the state BJP leaders, too, are displaying enthusiasm in the drive to enlist new members.

BJP sources, however, said that when the membership drive was conceived in UP, it was decided that the party would concentrate on inducting only those people committed to the BJP’s ideology.

But things are back to square one. “Everyone is concentrating on numbers. This is dangerous as one can never be sure of their commitment. Workers are the backbone of any party and no one really is paying any attention to this (commitment to ideology),” a party source said.