Sangh Parivar shadow-boxing at centre of BJP turmoil

By resigning,Advani has sought to halt in its tracks any more moves in the party featuring Modi.

Written by Ravish Tiwari | New Delhi | Published: June 11, 2013 4:07 am

By resigning from all party posts and indicating that he is more acceptable to the NDA than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,BJP patriarch L K Advani has sought to halt in its tracks any more moves in the party featuring Modi.

Following Advani’s shock decision,JD (U) leaders said the NDA was on ventilator support and indicated that it would be difficult for the party to continue with the alliance without Advani. The Shiv Sena said it could not think of the NDA or the BJP without Advani.

While Advani’s move brought him much-needed support from outside the BJP,a day after the party ignored his suggestion and appointed Modi as the party’s campaign committee chief for 2014,Monday’s developments indicated his desperation to remain in control of the party which has been increasingly influenced by the RSS since his controversial remarks about M A Jinnah in 2005.

The BJP president was learnt to have consulted Advani almost a week before announcing Modi’s new role and The Indian Express had last week reported that Advani had agreed to this but insisted that a parallel election management committee must also be announced simultaneously.

However,Advani’s choice to head the parallel panel — Nitin Gadkari — excused himself from such a role even before it could fruition.

Rajnath Singh’s announcement in Goa on Sunday did not defer to Advani’s suggestion and this,party leaders admitted,was the reason for the veteran’s sulk and resignation.

Advani loyalists claim that Singh could have

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Sangh Parivar shadow-boxing at centre of BJP crisis

ignored his suggestion only at the behest of the RSS,which some RSS leaders admit is the “sole reason for the grudge” of Advani. The fact that RSS leader Suresh Soni,who looks after the affairs of the BJP,did not attend the national executive meeting where Modi’s elevation was announced,did not cut much ice with Advani,it is learnt.

“The sum and substance of his rebellion today is his objection to Rajnath’s deferrence to RSS more than towards him,” said a senior party functionary. In fact,one functionary considered close to Advani claimed that Singh rejected Advani’s suggestion not just due to the popular support for Modi but also due to the influence of Soni.

With Advani’s popular support within the party falling far short of that of Modi,the veteran leader sought to leverage his relatively broader acceptance within the NDA to flex his muscle against the RSS’s micro-management against his wishes and suggestions.

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