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Rajnath meets VHP, wants to bury hatchet

Singh sought the leaders' blessings while the latter advised him to take his team along the ideological path.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 22:43 IST

As a part of his efforts to build bridges with the estranged Sangh Parivar outfits, the new BJP President, Rajnath Singh, met senior VHP leaders on Friday, including Ashok Singhal, who are understood to have counselled him to stick to ideology.

Singh, who had met the RSS Joint General Secretary Suresh Soni on Thursday, went to the VHP headquarters at RK Puram in South Delhi and met Singhal and Senior Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore, party sources said.

Singh's meeting with the VHP leaders assumes significance as leaders of the two organisations have not met each other for a long time.

The VHP had not only attributed the NDA's debacle in the May 2004 Assembly polls to the abandoning of the Hindutva agenda by the BJP but also demanded thatboth, former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and LK Advani, should pave the way for the younger generation in the party. Both Singhal and firebrand leader Praveen Togadia boycotted a meeting of RSS national executive at Haridwar thereafter protesting the presence of Advani.

In the wake of Advani's controversial remarks on Jinnah, Togadia had even dubbed him as a "traitor" evoking sharp reactions from the party and RSS.

VHP had reportedly been in favour of Murli Manohar Joshi as party Chief but now seems to have reconciled to Singh.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 22:43 IST