Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch L K Advani on Thursday had a "candid" interaction with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on recent developments in the wake of elevation of Narendra Modi as head of BJP's election campaign committee. The meeting took place at the Sangh’s headquarters in New Delhi.
"Following the brief telephonic conversation that Advani had with Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat last week, there was an hour-long meeting today between the two at Keshavkunj, the RSS HQ in Delhi," RSS propaganda chief Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement.
Describing the interaction as "detailed and candid", he said Advani conveyed his views on various developments in the country and the role of the party and the broad nationalist movement led by the Sangh.
The RSS leader said Advani suggested that there is a need for further discussion and exchange of notes at various levels between the party and the Sangh on several issues.
"Same will take place at appropriate time. Bhagwat also suggested that such useful exchange of views should continue in future also," Vaidya said, pointing at a deeper role of the RSS in BJP affairs.
This was the first meeting between Advani and Bhagwat after the former had quit all party posts on June 10 in protest against the elevation of Modi at the Goa conclave of the BJP.
In his resignation letter, Advani had cited the manner in which the BJP was functioning as the reason for his decision. He had said he finds it difficult to reconcile with this and charged that most leaders of the party are now concerned just with their personal agenda.
Advani had withdrawn his resignation the next day after Bhagwat talked to him over phone and convinced him that all the concerns raised by him would be looked into by the party. Sources said all these issues were discussed between Advani and Bhagwat.
Advani is also reportedly opposed to RSS joint general secretary Suresh Soni and BJP General Secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, who is the Sangh's point person in the party, and wants their removal. It is, however, not clear as to what extent Advani's grievances will be redressed.
The RSS is firm that though Advani should be given all respect keeping his contribution to the party in mind, the decisions taken will not be reversed despite his opposition.
Advani was scheduled to meet Bhagwat on Wednesday but the meeting was postponed as the BJP leader was indisposed. Modi's elevation was done with the consent of the RSS and it has made it clear to the party that there will be no going back on the issue, sources said.
Advani has reasoned that Modi's new appointment will scare away allies and weaken the National Democratic Alliance coalition. After the Janata Dal-United walked out of the NDA over Modi's elevation, Advani's contention has got further strengthened.
Modi had met Advani in New Delhi on June 18 in a bid to mollify him. The 45-minute meeting between them was described as "good" with sources saying it ended on a "positive note".
Ironically, Advani has taken his grievances related to party affairs to the RSS though he has always been known to be against the micro-management of the BJP by the Sangh founthead. Former BJP chief M Venkaiah Naidu met Bhagwat before Advani.