30 Aug : Seeking to rescue the BJP from its current leadership crisis, the RSS has held high-level confabulations when its chief Mohan Bhagwat met L K Advani for the second time in two days and declared that the party leadership has assured to resolve problems amicably while the party ruled out removal of Advani.
The BJP also ruled out another term for its President Rajnath Singh whose three-year term ends this December.
Highly placed party sources said Bhagwat was reportedly not in favour of some high-profile names that cropped up from the Advani camp, as successor to Rajnath Singh.
The RSS chief is believed to be in favour of someone who is acceptable to all sections of the party.
Bhagwat, who wound up his three-day mission, drove to Advani’s house for a breakfast meeting after which the RSS declared that “it is assured that the BJP leadership as a party will stand united, overcome all challenges, resolve the problems and emerge stronger”.
On the leadership crisis, RSS Joint General Secretary Madandas Devi, who accompanied Bhagwat in the breakfast meeting, told reporters at Advani’s residence that Bhagwat has said at his Friday press conference that the BJP leaders will discuss and decide the issue.
“We have been given an assurance that the BJP leaders will discuss and resolve problems and we believe that,” Madandas said.
Hours later, party spokesman Prakash Javadekar and senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu told the media separately that Advani would continue to lead the party.
Javadekar said in Delhi Rajnath Singh would not get an extension. The party constitution does not give a second consecutive term to the incumbent.
In Hyderabad, Naidu said organisational elections are due in the party and there was no vacancy now.
“We are surprised by the reports in major sections of media on stepping down, appointment and new President, promotion and RSS dictation. All these things in the media are totally baseless, speculation and imagination,” he said on Sunday.
Naidu said Advani would continue to lead the party. “How can anyone corner Advani? Does anyone have the capability or the stature to match him? Advani is the leader and will continue to lead the BJP,” he said.
“There is no vacancy to make Naidu, Jaitley or for that matter X,Y,Z as the president. It is all media speculation,” he said.
Party sources said at the end of the day there would be no spectacular changes made in the party structure immediately, though something could be worked towards the end of the year when organisational elections were due.
The three-day confabulations between the leadership of RSS and BJP was some sort of “brainstorming sessions” on the Lok Sabha debacle and there was also realisation that the party cannot resort to indiscriminate sacking of leaders like it did in the case of Jaswant Singh, sources said.
They felt there should be some sort of forum available to leaders to express their grievances.