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Swadeshis give BJP a discourse on economy
BS Political Bureau in New Delhi |
March 26, 2003 12:51 IST
It was a two-day Baudhik (learning session) in Mumbai for BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu and his three general secretaries--Pramod Mahajan, Rajnath Singh and Sanjay Joshi --as the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Rashtriya Swaymsevak Sangh and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch met to learn more about each other's brand of economics.
It was the Manch that talked and the BJP that listened.
A party general secretary said the Swadeshi leaders were well prepared and marshalled their arguments in an effective manner.
But Naidu and his general secretaries were inadequately prepared. The go-between -- RSS member Madan Das Devi -- acted as umpire.
Swadeshi ideologue S Gurumurthy is reported to have held a special session on the foreign direct investment and explained the Sangh Parivar's objections.
Similarly, SJM convenor Murlidhar Rao explained why the government's policies on divestment and agriculture would be detrimental to the people's interest.
But the most effective session was an over-all perspective given by Ravindra Mahajan, another Swadeshi leader.
In fact, BJP leaders were flooded with so much reading material on the SJM view-point that it became a rigorous mental exercise for them.
Since the discussions were based on them, it was mandatory for these leaders to read, absorb and assimilate the fundamentals of economics, said a participant.
The leadership was 'shocked and awed' by the session (said a participant, paraphrasing President George W Bush's characterisation of the first phase of the Iraq war) which was intended to debrief them on key economic issues and make them understand the SJM's logic.
"They attended it like committed cadre of the RSS," conceded a participant.
Though senior RSS leaders, like Madan Das Devi who played the role of moderator, persuaded the Swadeshi faction to give up a confrontational course with the government.
They also asked the BJP leadership to convey the Sangh Parivar's ‘feelings' to those who matter in the government.
At the end of the two-day confabulations, differences between the government and the Swadeshi faction on crucial economic issues were yet to be resolved. But the meeting emphasised the need for maintaining the Sangh Parivar's unity.
As expected , the brain-storming session, called chintan baithak, did not come out with any resolution because "it was not meant for that," said a participant.However, it was left to the BJP leadership, led by Naidu, to convince the government and narrow down differences with the Swadeshi faction.