New Delhi, June 09: As the RSS lumbers along examining the course for Sangh Parivar at its meet, it is facing attacks from those closely associated with prominent BJP leaders including LK Advani.
This is the latest in the acrimonious blame game in the BJP, sparked off by its defeat in the Lok Sabha election.
According to a party leader, these exchanges are an indication of what would happen at the review of party’s performance at the national executive slated for the third week of June. Detailed analysis of election results would take place later at a vichar manthan shivir or “brainstorming camp”, deputy leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said. RSS mouthpiece Organiser has been attacking Advani, Arun Jaitley and many other party leaders. Now, there is a counter-attack from persons close to Advani.
Amid murmurs that the attacks could not be happening without a tacit approval from the leaders, the BJP asserts there is nothing official about it. A day after Advani’s strategist Sudheendra Kulkarni’s article slamming the RSS and party leadership for the debacle in the elections, the BJP described him as an “independent journalist” and dissociated itself from his views.
“I spoke to Advaniji and he has dissociated himself from his [Kulkarni’s] views,” Swaraj said.
In his article in Tehelka, Kulkarni said the BJP needed to rethink its approach to Muslims, Hindutva, the poor, the RSS and itself, while the RSS also needed to ask itself why its acceptability was limited only to a section of Hindus.
He said the BJP’s failure to convince the people on the need for a change was rooted in a combination of structural, political, ideological, organisational and campaign-related reasons.
Kulkarni spoke about “disarray” in party leadership during the election campaign, the adverse impact of Varun Gandhi’s hate speech and the party and the Sangh Parivar making a strong leader like Advani look weak, helpless and not fully in command.
“Never in the history of the Jana Sangh or the BJP was the party enfeebled by so much disarray at the top. The disorder at the Centre and also in several states such as Rajasthan, UP and Delhi demoralised the disunited party workers down the line with disastrous results,” Kulkarni wrote.
He also said that propping up of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s name as next-in-line to LK Advani for the prime minister’s post in the middle of the campaign did not help at all. He also blamed Gujarat riots for allies quitting the BJP in the aftermath of the 2004 defeat due to the perception that the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002 was an important cause of the defeat and, hence, their conclusion that continuation of the alliance with the BJP would cost them Muslim votes.
Another journalist close to the BJP, Swapan Dasgupta, said the RSS had “lost its moral authority and social influence thanks to its unwillingness to face contemporary realities”.
“After the May 16 defeat, there is a strong possibility that a beleaguered RSS may insist on eschewing all debate altogether and settling for greater control. If that happens, the future of the BJP may be bleak,” he wrote.