NDA govt: Hotline between Modi, Bhagwat; Rajnath to be no 2?
NEW DELHI: Amid reports of dissent brewing among senior BJP leaders, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) on Thursday chalked out a formula to address the concerns expressed by the old guard of the party ahead of Narendra Modi’s likely coronation as Prime Minister.
According to reports, a strategy has been devised after BJP chief Rajnath Singh met top RSS leaders, including Suresh Soni, to discuss the post-poll strategy and the shape of the next NDA government at the Centre.
It is believed that the RSS has given a free hand to Narendra Modi to choose his team, while at the same time, it has asked him to ensure that the senior leaders of the party are not ignored and they continue to play an important role in the party’s affairs.It has been decided that Modi will be answerable only to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and will speak to him directly – eliminating the need for any mediator to avoid any confusion and maintaining clarity on important matters.
The RSS leadership is of the view that it is not necessary for the seniors to be part of the NDA government led by Modi. However, it does feel that the seniority and the vast experience of top BJP leaders must be maintained.
Secondly, on the issue of allocation of important portfolios to party leaders, the RSS thinks it should be Modi’s prerogative and there should be no outside intervention in it. However, the RSS has made it clear that it wants Rajnath Singh to be a part of the Modi Cabinet, but the BJP chief wants a number 2 slot in the government.However, there is no consensus yet on this issue, sources claim.The RSS has asked Modi to give his wish list to the apex Sangh leadership, which will decide how and when to implement them.
Importantly, the RSS has asked Modi not to be in a hurry to implement the Hindutva agenda of the Sangh Parivar. The BJP’s ideological mentor wants the party to continue its focus on forming a stable government after the counting of votes on May 16.The RSS leadership today shifted its base from Nagpur to the national capital after reports that three top BJP leaders, including LK Advani, MM Joshi and Sushma Swaraj, were unhappy with their possible future roles perceived by the party high command for them.
Under the RSS guidance, the party is considering drastic changes in the organisation in the wake of its possible government formation. The party is set for a major organisation revamp and indicated that it is open to taking support from any regional party to form the government.The meeting at Rajnath’s residence was also attended by BJP leaders taking care of the organisation, including party’s organisational general secretary Ramlal.
The meeting came a day after Rajnath’s marathon meeting with Modi in Ahmedabad on Thursday where other senior leaders Arun Jaitley and former party chief Nitin Gadkari were also present.
While the BJP top brass is working out roles for party veterans including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in the next government, it is also working on changes within the party that includes the change of guard steering the party.Sources said in case Rajnath is given a ministerial berth, then the reins of the party will be handed over to someone else and the name of Gadkari is doing the rounds.