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  Advaniís complicates BJPís succession issue!  


By: Ganesh Sovani
September 20, 2005
iews expressed here are authorís own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.


Contrary to the belief, the national executive committee meeting of the BJP at Chennai turned out to be not only a stormy affair, but it has also ensued a war of supremacy in RSS and the BJP.

Frankly speaking, no one had never thought, that BJPís incumbent president would venture in giving a parting shot to the RSS for itís excessive interest, if not interference in the BJPís day to day affairs. However, for Advani to say so, Nagpur is also to be equally to blamed for the manner in which it has unwarrantedly reacted on the various decisions the BJP led NDA decisions has taken during itís six years rule. It is the unwillingness of the RSS to understand the political compulsions of the BJP, irrespective of whether the latter is in power or otherwise. There lies the whole crux of the matter.

One school of thought believes, that Advani choose Chennai meet somewhat to settle the score with the parent body, as the RSS had undoubtedly exerted a tremendous amount pressure on him to resign, over his controversial remarks on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, which he is still unwilling to withdraw or amend. But in Chennai meet, he steadfastly defended his views on Jinnah much to the dismay of his party delegates.

The pressure on Advani either to quit or to pronounce his retirement date was evident for the manner in which RSS Chief K. Sudarshan and VHP Vice President were camping in Chennai, when none of these organizations had any official programme in that city coinciding with the BJPís meet.

Clearly, Advaniís remarks on RSS flummoxed BJP delegates in Chennai and which have virtually wounded the RSS. RSS appears to be more peeved for Advani referred to BJPís Ďsymbolic relationshipí with the RSS, when the Ďumbilical chordí between the two is a reality.

The fact that only two (Venkaih Naidu and Anant Kumar) out of 210 delegates showed the courtesy of remaining present as he left the venue on Sunday evening is a pointer to disapproval of his remarks both on RSS and his steadfastness on Jinnah issue even by the delegates. The man, who was once considered to be an Ďiconí of Hindutva, has suddenly turned out to be a liability for the party.

However, by resorting to a frontal attack on RSS, Advani has wiped out any chance of installing his own protťgť as his possible successor, as Nagpur is unlikely to give a nod to any such leader, whose Hindutva credentials are debatable, if not doubtful. Conversely, no second rung leader of the BJP can aspire to don the mantle, unless he gets a ĎNo Objection Certificateí from Nagpur.

Due to their decade long presence in Delhi, none of the second rung leader has a regular contact or communication with the party cadres in his or her respective home states; leave alone the contact with the masses. All these second rung leaders are beset with several limitations, thanks to the priorities which they resorted, including the Ďfive star cultureí on which they have thrived over the years.

Has any one ever heard their views on Indiaís population menace, poverty, unemployment, economy, investment, countryís security aspects, environment, education, etc.?

If these second rung leaders can not influence their own party workers, how can they get along the masses?

Advaniís advance decision to step down ahead of Bihar assembly polls (he clearly ignored the advice given by his Bihar party unit), will have an undesirable impact on BJPís alliance with the JD (U), which is able to smell the power for second time in six months, thanks to decline of Laloo Ė Rabri Raj. Should BJP Ė JD (U) fail to gain the power, JD (U) might think of treating BJP as a Ďliabilityí and would not hesitate to snap itís ties with it and make every effort to form a national level third front should an occasion arises in the near future.

Notwithstanding what the outgoing president Advani has said about excessive interest of the RSS, in the BJP, the party can not completely ignore Nagpur in the succession issue. On the top of that, it will have to even think of how Advaniís successor would form an equation, with Mohanrao Bhagwat who is tipped to be the possible successor of K. Sudarshan who too is likely to step down six months from now.

While deciding Advaniís successor, the BJP will also have to think of his or her acceptability amongst its NDA partners, who are falling apart from the BJP in one state after the other. Having lost an alliance with AIDMK in TN and with the TDP in AP, the BJP is stands to get isolated from itís erstwhile partners and it might just turned out to be a Hindi heartland party. Even its alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra has become more fragile than ever before.

This makes a transition period extremely important for the party to assess the pros and cons all possible successors of Advani. Indication has is that the uncertainty will continue to prevail in the party, till the last moment as the party is heading for an uncertain future for some time to come.

Ganesh Sovani

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