In a development loaded with political significance, BJP veteran L K Advani on Thursday called on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat ostensibly to discuss the developments in the party and the country.
The hour-long meeting at the RSS headquarters here took place against the backdrop of Bhagwat’s telephone call to Advani on June 11, following which the latter withdrew his resignation from the party posts.
Quite significantly, the meeting followed Modi’s conciliatory talks with Advani on Monday. It appeared that Advani did not quite approve of the way BJP chief Rajnath Singh had pushed through Modi’s case at the party’s Goa conclave.
Rajnath, however, has been refuting the perception that Advani had objections to Modi’s elevation in the party. Despite this, the fact remains that the BJP sources sounded quite relieved that Modi’s 45-minute interaction with Advani on Monday was “cordial and ended on a positive note”.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the RSS following the meeting said, “In a detailed and candid interaction, Advaniji conveyed his views on various developments in the country and the role of the party and the broad nationalist movement led by the Sangh.”
The communique also indicated that the discussions were inconclusive and further exchange of views would take place as it was found to be useful by Bhagwat. It should be noted here that it was the RSS chief’s intervention which had helped to defuse the crisis within the BJP, but it failed to stymie the impact of Modi’s elevation on the NDA.
On Monday, the BJP’s ally of 17 years, the JD(U) stormed out of the coalition over the issue of Modi’s elevation. More importantly, it led to JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ousting the BJP from his government.
According to reports, all these issues figured in the Advani-Bhagwat talks. And the BJP veteran also expressed his reservations about RSS joint secretary Suresh Soni and BJP general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal.
Lal has been deputed by the RSS to ensure coordination between the Sangh and the BJP. When Advani was persuaded to take back his resignation he had been assured by Bhagwat that his concerns and misgivings about the functioning of the party will be duly addressed. Incidentally, former BJP chief Venkaiah Naidu also met Bhagwat on Thursday just before Advani got an audience.