RSS keeps off Bharatiya Janata Party infighting

Advani to continue as Opposition leader in Lok Sabha for now

RSS keeps off Bharatiya Janata Party infighting

Venkaiah Naidu

The decision to set up the panel comes after two days of consultations between the RSS and the BJP top brass to thrash out a plan to pull the party out of its present morass.

The panel, which will comprise senior leaders, including L K Advani, who has come under intense attack from several quarters in the BJP, and Murli Manohar Joshi, will pave the way for the “graceful exit” of the octogenarian leader. There are indications that Advani will likely to demit his post either in November, when he celebrates his 88th birthday, or in December when his tenure ends.

The panel, which will come up with suggestions on resolving the vexed issues within the party, not the least of which is who will head the BJP, will have a new unattached party leader as member. The panel will also comprise some young BJP leaders. On Sunday, senior leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Prakash Javadekar insisted that Advani would continue as the Leader of Opposition. Javadekar said there would be “no change in leadership in the Lok Sabha. Advani will continue as Leader of Opposition.” However, Rajnath Singh, in the middle of the crisis, is unlikely to get another term as party president.

Venkaiah Naidu termed as “baseless” reports of a planned change in the top rung of the party, saying that Advani would remain the Leader of Opposition. In reference to suggestions that the RSS was brokering a solution to the problems besetting the BJP, Naidu said the party “will take its own decisions” regarding its future. Naidu’s remarks came after senior RSS leader Madandas Devi hoped that the BJP would emerge stronger from the current crisis.

Devi also made it clear that the RSS would not interfere in the BJP’s internal matters.

Devi’s comments came at a press conference following a breakfast meeting with Advani at the latter’s Prithviraj Road residence here. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was also present at the meeting.

The diktat

*Rajnath may not get another term
*Advani likely to demit office by November
*Saffron will emerge stronger, says RSS

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