Debating India

Efforts to tide over BJP crisis deadlocked

Thursday 9 June 2005

New Delhi, June 9 (PTI): Efforts to resolve the crisis in BJP appeared to have reached a dead end today in the face of RSS ruling out any compromise on its "basic ideology" which has left little room for manouevre for L K Advani to continue as party president.

Franctic efforts by Advani loyalists to work out a compromise to resolve the face off with RSS over its praise for Mohammad Ali Jinnah made little headway, prompting postponement of BJP Parliamentary Board meeting for 24 hours till 6 pm tomorrow to buy more time.

But RSS, while taking the public stance that the leadership issue was BJP’s internal affair, left no one in doubt that a compromise on basic ideology was not possible. In other words, Advani’s praise for Jinnah had to "reviewed", an euphemism for withdrawal.

Fissures

Fissures in BJP came to the fore today with a senior leader and a known detractor of Advani asserting that Jinnah was no secular and that there could be no compromise on the basic ideology of the party.

Huddled in meetings from the morning, senior leaders worked on a draft resolution to be taken by the Parliamentary Board to accommodate the feelings of L K Advani, who had expressed displeasure that the resolution yesterday had not referred to his Pakistan visit or the context in which his remarks on Jinnah were made.

Fresh draft

Sources said the fresh draft described Advani’s visit to Pakistan as "historic" and his launching of restoration work at the Katasraj Temple as "milestone". It also said Advani’s remarks at Jinnah’s masoleum had to be "seen in its totality in the context of diplomatic relations between the two countries".

The fresh resolution, however, referred to the "other face" of Jinnah, particularly his espousal of the two-nation theory, and said the party would never compromise on its ideology.

While political circles debated on whether the new resolution would be acceptable to Advani, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav said the BJP leaders were aware of the "feelings, views and opinions" of the Sangh on the issue and would keep that in mind while resolving the crisis.

Party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said senior leader Jaswant Singh, who was away in Israel, also expressed his desire to participate in the meeting and he would reach the capital tomorrow.

The resolution had also not made any reference to his remarks on Mohammed Ali Jinnah in a way that would have defended him from the RSS, which had attacked his praise for Pakistan’s founder.

Yesterday’s resolution of the board had rejected his resignation and asked him to continue to lead the party while hailing his services to the organisation.

NDA plans meeting

In Guwahati, the NDA Convener George Fernandes said the Alliance would be meeting within a day or two to discuss the resignation of L K Advani as BJP president.

Pointing out that the Jinnah issue was not an NDA issue but a BJP one, Fernandes said the NDA would be meeting within a day or two.

"All of us are talking about a national discussion to correct history that has been twisted so long," he told reporters addding that "I will defend Advani to the end".

See online : The Hindu

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