RSS can walk straight without crutches of BJP: Govindacharya

Govindacharya, who parted ways with the BJP sometime back, accused the party leaders, including its chief Rajnath Singh, of practising "pseudo-Hindutva".

Besides, he dubbed Varun Gandhi's election speeches as "pesudo-Hindutva of the reactionary, irresponsible kind" and "not Hindutva".

In a hard-hitting interview to weekly news magazine Tehelka, he said BJP did not cater to the ideal of Hindutva either as a party in power or as a party in the opposition.

"It is not a national party in terms of ideology, policies and conviction," he said about the BJP, adding that it is a party "full of opportunists and careerists".

The BJP leaders are taking to politics "only as a career or a dhanda (business)," he said alleging that their thought process revolves only around power.

The interview has come at a time when the BJP's national executive is taking place here amid calls by some leaders for an open debate on the electoral debacle.

Asked how the RSS leadership is viewing the election results, Govindacharya said, "the RSS will have a straight talk with the BJP now and ask it to decide what kind of relationship it wants to have with the RSS."

Govindacharya said that "as a responsible Swayamsevak", this is how he reads the mind of the RSS leadership. "The RSS will tell them if you want to go without us don't worry...
"We feel that we don't need any appendage or any extra baggage. Nor any crutches. RSS can walk straight without the crutches of the BJP. This is the message the Sangh leadership has given to the BJP."

Govindacharya was also harsh on the leadership of Advani, who was projected as the prime ministerial candidate, saying that the election campaign of the BJP, which proclaimed him as a strong leader, was "on a wrong footing".

"As Home Minister, Advani's comparison can only be made with Shivraj Patil. There was nothing much to choose from," he said adding that the election was a competition between "a weak Manmohan Singh and a weak Advani ji."

"In the realm of strong leader (Advani), the issue of Kandhar kept coming up," he said referring to the Kandhar plane hijack episode during the NDA government when Advani was the Home Minister.

Govindacharya faulted Advani aide Sudheendra Kulkarni for making RSS a "scapegoat".
"In no way was the RSS involved in any kind of election strategies. Only BJP people occupied the war room and they should be held responsible," he said.

To a question, he said that Advani has never said anywhere that he is going to quit as Leader of the Opposition in December. "This is rumour, conjecture," he said.

Asked whether there is a feeling within the RSS that perhaps it is time for Advani to retire, he said the RSS unless asked to think and advise on these aspects will not apply its mind on such issues.

At the same time, he said Advani has definitely expressed the will for a retired life.
"He desires it and deserves it also. He doesn't deserve this kind of lampooning and cartooning from either the media or from within the sections of the BJP. He deserves a happy and serene life," Govindacharya said.

Asked how does he visualise the future of BJP, he said he leaves it to the wisdom of the leaders. "If things go as they are, the party will be reduced in the arithmetic of elections and then they won't even hold as many states in power as they do today," he said.

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