RSS dampens Advani's PM candidate hopes

RSS dampens Advani's PM candidate hopes

RSS dampens Advani's PM candidate hopes

Pushed and prodded by the RSS, Advani said the Sangh Parivar, his party and fellow workers had given him “much more” than what the top post holds.

Sources told Deccan Herald that the RSS headquarters at Nagpur had made it clear to Advani that unless he opted out of the prime ministerial race, he would not get the support of RSS workers during his proposed cross-country “Yatra” against corruption. The RSS has thus far supported all “yatras” undertaken by the senior saffron leader.

The question of the Gen Next leadership in the BJP got unsettled with the patriarch recently throwing his hat in the ring by announcing a new yatra and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also intending to join the race in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision to not to pass an order on his alleged role in the 2002 communal riots.

 Modi recently concluded his “Sadbhavna fast” to drum up support and an attempt to prepare for “a bigger role” outside Gujarat. Two other senior leaders—Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely—are also considered to be on the PM-in-waiting list in the party circles.

Sources said the RSS intervened to end the confusion by summoning Advani to Nagpur and counseling the 84-year-old leader. The RSS expects the octogenarian BJP leader to fade-out with dignity and pave the way for a new leader to emerge from among the available ones, sources maintained.

This has not been seen to be happening, the sources said.
 “I would only say that I first became a Swayamsewak (of the RSS), then a member of the Jan Sangh and then the BJP. I feel that what I have got from these organisations, from my fellow workers and what the country has given me is much more than the prime minister's post,” he said. Advani was responding to a question from newspersons after meeting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at Nagpur. He, however, did not said he will not be available as a candidate in 2014 elections.

“I met the RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and asked for his blessings. He gave me his full support and blessings and wished him all the best for the yatra,” Advani said. He also met BJP president Nitin Gadkari and enquired about his health. Gadkari had undergone an operation on September 12 and is recuperating.

“The BJP president will co­me to Delhi on September 24. I have asked him to make the announcement about the yatra. By then, the plan details will also be chalked out,” Advani said, who is expected to ki­ck off his anti-graft yat­ra fr­om Sitabdiara village in Bihar’s Sa­ran district on October 11, the day Jayaprakash Narain was born.

Advani made light of his meeting with Bhagwat, saying he keeps talking to him “informally”.

On reports that he was a prime ministerial candidate, the BJP leader quipped, “ask the reporters.”

RSS National Ex­ecutive member Ram Madhav denied that there was any direction to Advani from the RSS on any issue.