After a public bickering over the causes of its Lok Sabha defeat and a chintan baithak, the BJP will now present its report card to the RSS leadership.
The top RSS brass will be closeted in Rajgir, 110 km from Patna, for the next few days for the annual meet of the Sangh’s Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (national working committee).
BJP general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal will discuss the working of the party organisation in the past year; the discussion is expected to include the poll debacle and the party’s internal problems.
“All organisations of our Vichar Parivar (ideological family) like BJP and ABVP (BJP’s student wing) will discuss the year’s progress and plans at this meet, as is the practice,” a Bihar functionary of the RSS told HT, requesting anonymity.
This is the first meet of the organisations of the entire Sangh Parivar after the polls.
There is a buzz in RSS circles here that BJP president Rajnath Singh may attend the meet, but a close associate of Singh in Delhi denied this.
The meeting will also discuss whether RSS shakhas have expanded in the past year.
The ‘non-political’ work of the RSS — like the ongoing Gau Gram Yatra (campaign to ‘save the cows’) that will cover lakhs of villages — often provides the social building blocks of the BJP’s electoral edifice. As in the case of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, which made the BJP a national player, successful RSS-backed campaigns have benefited the party during elections.
The RSS, however, emphasises that political work is a small subset of the parivar’s activities.
But the BJP under former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former home minister LK Advani outgrew the parent organisation in the 1990s. While the BJP-led NDA’s rise to power gave swayamsevaks a chance to pull political strings, it also embittered the RSS-BJP relations on the question of who was more important — BJP or RSS.