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Advani should continue as BJP chief: RSS

Monday 11 April 2005

Seeking to put a lid on the controversy triggered by RSS chief KS Sudershan’s statement on the BJP leadership, the Sangh fountainhead on Monday stated that LK Advani should continue as the party President.

"The RSS has always held the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani in high esteem and maintained that the party needs their guidance and leadership always," RSS spokesman Ram Madhav told reporters in New Delhi, quoting a statement from Sangh General Secretary Mohan Bhagwat.

Praising Advani for his "yeoman contribution" to the party as its President and otherwise also, the statement said, "In the last few months, the party is trying to reorganise itself well under his leadership. Sudershan himself has commended Advani’s leadership at this crucial hour. The RSS is of the firm view that he should continue as the President of the party."

The RSS statement comes a day after Sudershan told NDTV news channel that Vajpayee and Advani should step aside to make way for younger leaders in the party.

Following the RSS chief’s interview, both Advani and Bhagwat got in touch with Sudershan, who clarified the Sangh’s position on the issue.

Bhagwat said Sudershan had made it clear to him that his "very general" observations in a television interview regarding age factor in politics "were taken out of context to create such an erroneous impression" that Advani and Vajpayee should quit their posts.

"Now, this issue may be deemed closed once and for all," Madhav said quoting Bhagwat.

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