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RSS endorses govt's WTO agenda
BS Political Bureau in New Delhi | September 08, 2003 10:44 IST
After a series of meetings with top government functionaries, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leadership appears to be convinced with the government's stance on the World Trade Organisation negotiations to be held at Cancun in Mexico.
RSS chief KS Sudershan along with some other senior Sangh leaders met Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in New Delhi and is believed to have discussed a range of issues from Uttar Pradesh, economic policies, national political scenario to WTO negotiations.
But the crux of the meeting is that the RSS is satisfied with the emphasis laid by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on agriculture issues in his speech at the Asean meeting.
According to sources, the meeting assumes significance as a core group of the RSS will discuss strategies for spurring organisational growth at Mathura on September 10, which coincides with the Cancun negotiations.
The RSS will formulate a strategy for its affiliated organisations at the meeting.
Sudershan, who has been advocating a tough stand at the multilateral forum, expressed satisfaction over the government agenda.
Vajpayee's strong views against developed nations for arm-twisting the developing countries have also found a wider acceptance in the Parivar, sources say.
The new-found bonhomie between top government functionaries and the RSS leadership will give the Vajpayee government a breathing space in the domestic political scenario.
Till last week, the RSS-backed Swadeshi Jagran Manch and the Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh were setting the higher benchmark for the government and dictating Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley to emulate his predecessor, Murasoli Maran.
Initially, the RSS leadership was sceptical of the government's approach on the WTO particularly in view of the pro-globalisation outlook of certain key ministers.
Though Jaitley has always exhibited his pro-swadeshi credentials, his vocal advocacy of economic reforms including divestment made him a "suspect" in the eyes of the Sangh Parivar leadership.
"But now Jaitley has been given a brief, which he has to adhere to," said a senior Sangh parivar leader.
But there was a sense of unease in the RSS and the Swadeshi faction following reports about differences between the agriculture ministry and the commerce ministry on agriculture issues.
This tussle reached a flashpoint when the representation of the agriculture ministry by Secretary RCA Jail was scaled down to the level of a director.
But after a message from the Prime Minister, the swadeshi faction described the wrangling the result of ego-clash between the commerce ministry and the agriculture ministry.
The RSS leadership has started giving a definite signal to its affiliated bodies to close their rank and not to work at cross-purposes.
Though all RSS-affiliated organisations will be asked not to abandon their political programmes, they will be advised against adopting a confrontation with the BJP and the government as it would make the Parivar vulnerable to the Opposition onslaught.At the Mathura meeting, senior leaders are also expected to discuss the fallout of the collapse of BJP-BSP government and installation of Mulayam Singh Yadav as the chief minister.