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Differences between RSS, Advani surface again
K G Suresh in Mumbai | December 26, 2005 23:07 IST
Differences between Bharatiya Janata Party President L K Advani and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Monday came to the fore on the opening day of the five-day BJP national convention as the Sangh asked the party not to deviate from its ideology in a bid to reach out to a wider section of society while the outgoing party chief made no reference to Hindutva.
Addressing a function to release a book on BJP's 25-year political journey, RSS Joint General Secretary Madan Das Devi said, "We undestand that the BJP wants to reach out to a lot of people. But I can tell you if the BJP is able to remove its shortcomings, rectify its mistakes and has complete trust and faith in ideology, certainly people will trust and it will grow, reach out everywhere and play its role."
Devi said the Sangh had no selfish interest other than to see the BJP as a "good, strong party". The Sangh's homily assumes significance as it comes ahead of Advani stepping down as the party chief after the RSS had asked him to step down in the wake of the controversy triggered by his controversial remarks on Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
In his address at the BJP convention, Advani heaped lavish praise on RSS but suggested, in a veiled recall of his remarks at Chennai national executive, that RSS should not "remote control" BJP. To drive home his point, Advani reminded the audience, that when Shyama Prasad Mookerjee had approached the then RSS Chief Guru Golwalkar for setting up a party, the latter said Sangh would not directly involve itself in politics but would depute its volunteers for the task.