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Stop fighting, RSS tells BJP on meet eve

india Updated: Aug 19, 2009 02:17 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
Stop fighting

From the time they heard the results of the Lok Sabha polls, BJP leaders have been at each other’s throats. That’s how they are going into a summit starting Wednesday to ascertain what went wrong, and figure the road ahead.

But before they could shut the door on the world for the three-day chintan baithak (summit), they got a sharp reminder from their parent body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, to stop fighting, and behave.

Sangh told them to put their heads together, find out what went wrong and come out with a revival package with specific emphasis on younger leaders, the next generation.

The sangh brass has been worried lately by the squabbling peaking to new heights – the Vasundhara Raje-led revolt in Rajasthan and Jawant Singh’s book in praise of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

“The general condition of the party should be paid attention to. I do not see it as a result of Rajnath being there, or Advani. I see general debility has affected the party,” sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat told Times Now.

Coming as it did, on the eve of the summit, great political importance was being attached to the statement in the party. M.M. Joshi said the sangh had every right to advise the BJP.

Bhagwat had some more things on his mind. He said the issue of leadership was open and any of the 75 key leaders —- and not just Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Narendra Modi and Venkaiah Naidu — could make it to the top.

Bhagwat wanted the BJP leaders themselves to work out the transition in the party and hand over of the reins to younger hands, preferably in the age group of 55 to 60. Timing was their prerogative.

The BJP clearly has a task on its hands. In fact, the last act of party president Rajnath Singh was a statement issued to distance the organisation from Jaswant Singh’s book.

They would like to go into the summit as one, at least.