|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Four BJP CMs meet RSS chief in Nagpur
April 09, 2005 13:15 IST
Last Updated: April 09, 2005 19:38 IST
They may be popular, they may be powerful and they may be articulate, but when in the presence of the father figure, they are all reduced to silent and disciplined individuals unfazed by the frenzied media attention.
The visit by the chief ministers of the states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party to meet Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief (also called Sarsanghachalak) K S Sudarshan in Nagpur on Saturday remained an extremely low-key affair.
The much-publicised visit was discreet even by RSS standards, which dictate that an individual is a disciplined 'Swayamsevak' first and that official designation and status are of no consequence.
To begin with, only four of the five chief ministers from the BJP-ruled states turned up -- Narendra Modi of Gujarat, Babulal Gaur of Madhya Pradesh, Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh and Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan.
Arjun Munda of Jharkhand was also scheduled to meet the RSS chief, but he cancelled his visit at the last moment.
Then, the visit was totally devoid of the VIP frills. There were no bands of slogan-shouting supporters, the long convoys of fast cars or the display of banners and flags welcoming the visitors.
Even the local BJP office, which has an active press relations department, maintained a studied silence.
Newsmen's queries only evoked cryptic monosyllabic replies. The office claimed to have no details about the schedule of the VIP visitors. Incidentally, the local office of the government's publicity department issued a short official press release on Friday regarding the arrival of the chief ministers.
Modi, Gaur, Singh and Raje arrived at the headquarters of the RSS in Mahal area separately. They drove straight in and disembarked from their vehicles only when well inside the premises. They emerged about two hours later after meeting Sudarshan, but ignored the huge posse of waiting newsmen again.
All the four then drove to the memorial of Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar at Reshimbag to pay their respects to the RSS founder on his birth anniversary. Later, they all left, again separately, for a private function.
All the while, the normally media-savvy Modi, Gaur, Singh and Raje systematically stalled every effort to evoke some little bit of information about the discussions that they had with Sudarshan.
They merely extended their greetings on the Maharashtrian New Year on Saturday, and waxed eloquent about how the Sarsanghachalak was a source of inspiration for them.
Then, as if on cue, they were all seized by a bout of deafness as soon as the more probing questions began and sped away in their cars.
Sudarshan is believed to have asked the chief ministers to strengthen the forces of Hindutva in their states.
The exercise of chastising the chief ministers and their detractors for quarrelling openly appears to have been put off to a future date.
Contrary to expectations, former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharati did not make an appearance.
(Courtesy: Central India News Service)
More reports from Maharashtra
Read about: Telgi case | Mumbai blasts