Debating India
Home page > Public directory > Indian Politics > Political Parties & Elections > Bharatiya Janata Party > BJP says it is over, but VHP keeps the pot boiling

BJP says it is over, but VHP keeps the pot boiling

Wednesday 13 April 2005, by VYAS*Neena

NEW DELHI, APRIL 12. The Bharatiya Janata Party said today that the episode related to the controversial remarks by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief, K.S. Sudarshan, was a "closed chapter." But, another Sangh Parivar affiliate, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, kept the controversy boiling by saying that it was in "total agreement" with Mr. Sudarshan on the need for the top leadership of the BJP to "step aside" to make room for a younger leadership.

A senior VHP leader, Giriraj Kishore, said that Nanaji Deshmukh had shown the way by quitting active politics and devoting himself to social work when he reached a certain age. His view was that politicians should retire at 60 and not assume an office of profit. "What Mr. Sudarshan said about BJP leaders, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, that they should step aside, was perfectly sane advice." For talking about the former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Brajesh Mishra, and Mr. Vajpayee’s foster son-in-law, "the RSS chief should be commended for calling a spade a spade," Mr. Kishore said.

Mr. Sudarshan’s remarks in extracts of an interview — the full interview is to be telecast on Saturday by NDTV — continued to reverberate within the larger Sangh Parivar and the BJP throughout the day. Privately, senior party leaders felt that the damage had been done, confused signals had gone down the party cadre as well as the lakhs of "swayamsevaks" in the country, and that the message that had been sent out was that all was not well in the Sangh Parivar.

A previously scheduled meeting of the top RSS and BJP leaders on April 22 — the time and the venue have not yet been fixed — will look at the entire controversy and try to repair the damage.

Senior BJP leaders lamented that the party had big plans to expand its base and membership during this silver jubilee year and, instead, it would now have to deal with the crisis created in the Sangh. The April 22 meeting was to discuss ways to harmonise relations between the two organisations, but now it will have to find ways to defuse the tension.

SPIP | template | | Site Map | Follow-up of the site's activity RSS 2.0