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RSS-BJP to end mud-slinging

February 13, 2003 14:45 IST

In a damage-control exercise, top RSS and BJP leaders on Thursday met and decided not to speak in different voices on crucial issues, including Ayodhya, and to impress on organisations like the VHP not to openly criticise the government.

The meeting at the RSS headquarters in Delhi, which lasted over 80 minutes, came within two days of VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia demanding control of the disputed land in Ayodhya, going beyond the outfit's earlier claim to only the undisputed area.

While the RSS was represented by general secretary Mohan Bhagwat, joint general secretary-in-charge of the BJP Madan Das Devi and joint spokesman Ram Madhav, the BJP team was led by party president M Venkaiah Naidu and included the five general secretaries Pramod Mahajan, Sanjay Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Anita Arya.

RSS sources said the leaders stressed that Sangh Parivar outfits and the BJP should not speak in different voices on
crucial issues, including the Ram temple one and on foreign policy matters, and the former should not publicly criticise the government.

"We totally agree with the VHP on building a grand temple for Lord Ram at Ayodhya. We only differ on the mechanism and the trime-frame, and these can be sorted out," Mahajan told reporters after the meeting.

The RSS sources said organisational matters, including deputation of RSS leaders to the party ahead of the crucial assembly elections later this year as also the Lok Sabha polls next year, was discussed at the meeting.

"We agreed to increase co-ordination between the different Sangh Parivaar organisations in the context of the elections," the sources said.

Meanwhile, party general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told PTI that the meeting was the continution of a meeting between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpaye and top brass of the BJP and RSS late last year in which it was decided to bridge the communication gap between the ruling party and various Sangh Parivar outfits.

"We decided to continue with this dialogue process at today's meeting," Naqvi said.


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