In an apparent bid to evolve a consensus on projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the main leader of the BJP, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday met L K Advani, the most vocal among the BJP leaders who are opposed to Modi’s elevation.
The meeting at Keshavkunj, the RSS headquarter here, lasted for over an hour. An RSS release indicated that the meeting remained inconclusive and more such sessions are required to defuse the crisis. The release also stated that the meeting “was in continuity of the role played by Bhagwat in making Advani withdraw his resignation from party posts following the appointment of Modi as the BJP poll panel chief.”
“Following the brief telephonic conversation that Advaniji had with Mohanji Bhagwat last week, there was an hour-long meeting on Thursday between the two,” said the release. The leaders are understood to have discussed internal politics, ideological problems and structural issues faced by the party.
This seems to be one of the most significant political events in the Sangh Parivar after Advani’s revolt against Modi’s appointment as the poll panel chief. Many leaders had met both Bhagwat and Advani to prepare the ground for a reconciliation. Two days ago, Modi met Advani.
Bhagwat met senior leaders of the party, including Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj. Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari has been in constant touch with both leaders.
According to sources, Advani reiterated his views that the RSS should keep off the day-to-day affairs of the BJP. He demanded the removal of Suresh Soni as the coordinator between the BJP and the RSS.
In a unusual gesture, the RSS came out with a release on the Advani-Bhagwat meeting. The release said their interaction was “detailed and candid” and covered a wide range of issues. The release clearly indicated that the meeting remained inconclusive and a series of meetings between the RSS and BJP leaders would follow.
“It was opined that several issues need further discussion and exchange of notes at various levels. The same will take place at an appropriate time. Shri Bhagwatji also suggested that such useful exchange of views should continue in the future also,” the release stated.
It also indicated that there were some differences between the Sangh and the BJP leaders, especially on the Hidutva issue.
“There was an hour-long meeting on Thursday between the two at Keshavkunj, the RSS headquarters in Delhi. In a detailed and candid interaction Shri Advaniji conveyed his views on various developments in the country and the role of the party and the broad nationalist movement led by the Sangh,” the release stated.