21 June-2014, Dhirendra K Jha: The new government has not completed a month in office but the equation between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Narendra Modi is already becoming increasingly complex. Signs are emerging that the RSS, the parent organisation of the group of Hindu nationalist outfits known as the Sangh Parivar, has begun to take steps to prevent the prime minister from securing complete control of the Bharatiya Janata Party for himself.
According to a senior RSS official, the organisation will establish closer control over the BJP by changing the way it liaises with the party.
The liaison’s post is considered crucial in the RSS hierarchy because the person who occupies it traditionally has the final say in all the key decisions of the BJP. The liason’s suggestions are considered the viewpoint of the RSS and are given due deference by the party.
For the last ten years, this post has been held by Suresh Soni, a joint general secretary of the RSS. But over the course of the general elections, another joint general secretary of the RSS, Dattatreya Hosabale – who is considered very close to Modi – has been on the ascendancy. Hosabale is frontrunner to succeed Soni, but is unlikely to have the same kind of freedom that his predecessor was given.
“This is because he is considered too close to Modi,” said a senior RSS office-bearer. As a result, Hosabale will be assisted by another joint general secretary, Krishna Gopal, and they will both work in tandem with the RSS general secretary, Bhaiyaji Joshi.
This organisational change demonstrates how the highest rungs of the RSS are not willing to allow the close equation between the liaison and the prime minister to have a detrimental impact on their authority, observers say.
Krishna Gopal’s inclusion in the team dealing with the BJP will help the RSS strengthen its position in Uttar Pradesh. “Krishna Gopal is from UP, which has emerged as a very significant state in the scheme of things of the RSS,” said the Sangh official.
Even more significant is the proposed inclusion of Bhaiyaji Joshi, who is number two in the RSS, in this team of political managers. Joshi is considered a dedicated RSS man: his focus has always been on the functioning and the expansion of the RSS. Insiders say he rarely displays interest in the activities of the BJP. That’s why the rumour mill went into overdrive when Joshi appeared at the BJP headquarters on June 17, ostensibly to pay tribute to the victims of Kedarnath tragedy on its first anniversary.
Since the inception of the BJP, top RSS officials, including its chief, the general secretary and the joint general secretaries, have regularly deliberated on major issues concerning the party. But the day-to-day oversight of the saffron party has always been the responsibility of a single person, the liaison. This individual-based system will be altered now, perhaps for good. One insider said the RSS is contemplating creating a team that could even monitor the BJP’s day-to-day decision-making.
(Input source: Scroll)