Even though BJP leader Gopinath Munde does not have too many sympathisers in the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), its leaders played a significant role in preventing a split in the party’s Maharashtra unit.
According to insiders in the RSS, it was senior leader Suresh Soni — who looks after BJP related matters — who took up the issue when it was clear that matters had turned serious. Soni reportedly spoke to several RSS and BJP leaders and came to the conclusion that Munde’s complaints need to be attended to.
Munde’s long association with the Sangh Parivar — spanning almost four decades — and his mass appeal in Maharashtra made the RSS leadership take a serious view of the ongoing feud, said a prominent RSS leader, on the condition of anonymity. Soni, who was in Delhi, also spoke with Munde and party president Nitin Gadkari, said the source.
Munde also reportedly spoke to other senior RSS leaders over the telephone.
RSS insiders said that any drastic decision on Munde would have sent an ‘undesired’ signal not only in Maharashtra but across the country, as Munde is a popular Other Backward Class leader and a product of a carefully planned strategy in the 1980s to widen party’s base by promoting non-Bramhin leadership.
According to formula worked out, neither Gadkari nor Munde should be allowed to take any decision on the issue and both should listen to senior leaders in BJP and RSS.
“We looked into matter to ensure that things do not become worse in larger interests,” said a prominent RSS leader who did not wish to be named.
RSS leaders, so far, were keeping a low profile on the issue because they were highly upset on Munde’s stand on OBC issue when the census was being conducted. Munde pressed for inclusion of OBC as caste in census despite RSS known stand against it.