BJP's return to roots, or to RSS?

BJP's national council reflects the tightening grip of the Sangh Parivar

ajay

Ajay Singh | February 17, 2010



At Indore, the BJP's national council is displaying an unmistakable imprint of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. For a beginning, tents have been erected to house 3,000-odd delegates away from the city and its five-star luxuries. But tents are only a glimpse of the party's vision to take leaders back to the roots. The entire area has been converted into a model village where delegates are living close to nature with animals and birds. Some tribals and snake charmers have been brought from neighbouring areas to give the whole tenement a natural look. This council assumes significance in view of the fact that it is set to ratify Nitin Gadkari's election as party president. And Gadkari is more than eager to display his loyalties to the core values of the RSS which harps swadeshi and austerity in public life.

But insiders say that the whole arrangement is turning out to be quite expensive. For example, Ananth Kumar who came to oversee the arrangement chose to fly back to Bangalore on a state plane accompanied by a state minister to legitimise his journey. Similarly, the entire state machinery has been mobilised to create an ideal village which is only in the Sangh Parivar's dream. In fact, the party's Indore national council once again exposes the existential dilemma of the Sangh Parivar and the BJP. With the RSS firming up its grip over the BJP, the party's political strategy is being charted by die-hard pracharaks who are completely out of sync with ground realities. What is surprising is the silence and total capitulation of the party's new leadership to the whims and fancies of these pracharaks. 

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