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RSS claims BJP will return to Hindutva

HARIDWAR, NOV. 6. The Sangh Parivar appeared a divided house today with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party had promised to return to its original Hindutva ideology, while the former party president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, remained non-committal.

Briefing reporters after the two-day RSS National Executive here, where the VHP leaders boycotted the sessions at which BJP leaders were present, its general secretary, Mohan Bhagwat, said: "The BJP has given an assurance that they will return to Hindutva. Let us see how they fulfil it."

While he declined to set a timeframe for the BJP for the same, Mr. Bhagwat said the RSS expected the party to take a clear stand on Hindutva issues, including the Ram temple and cow protection. "It is for them to decide how to do it," he said.

BJP non-committal

However, talking to reporters before leaving for Delhi, Mr. Naidu only said the RSS had conveyed its views and concerns to the party leaders and "we will discuss it and formulate our response."

Asked whether the BJP would return to Hindutva ideology as demanded by the VHP, Mr. Naidu said: "The BJP is the BJP and the VHP is the VHP, both have their own programmes. We will support whatever is in the national interest."

He expressed confidence that the BJP's ideology would not create problems for the National Democratic Alliance, as every alliance partner was "free to have their own ideology."

The BJP president, L.K. Advani, had yesterday said that the RSS leaders had conveyed their views to the party and that Mr. Naidu had informed them of the "corrective" being applied.

Parallel outfit

Asked whether the RSS would consider the VHP demand to float a parallel Hindu outfit, Mr. Bhagwat said, "Let the wait-and-watch period be over then we will see." He, however, denied any "conflict" between the BJP and the VHP saying, "There are differences which will be sorted out."

The VHP chief, Ashok Singhal, and firebrand leader Pravin Togadia stayed away from the two-day meeting till the two BJP leaders left the venue.

The VHP leaders told the Sangh leadership that they would not sit with BJP leaders till the party returned to the Hindutva fold.

Strong stand needed

The RSS also expected the BJP to take a firm stand on Hindutva and other issues at its upcoming three-day national executive in Ranchi from November 24.

During the two-day meeting, Sangh representatives from across the country were highly critical of the BJP for not only abandoning its ideology but also for the "corruption" that had crept into its machinery and the alienation of its leaders from the grassroots.

The two-day meeting also passed resolutions relating to the demographic threats to the country, challenges to internal security and on the Kerala social reformer, Sri Narayan Guru's 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

Internal security

The RSS said some non-governmental organisations were trying to legitimise the activities of terrorists and anti-national groups in the name of human rights and asked the Government to take stern action to control terrorism and naxalism in the country.

"Some human rights organisations and their supporters and donors — both domestic and foreign — are using the benign concept of human rights seemingly to weaken the resolve of the Indian State and her people to deal effectively with terrorism," a resolution on internal security passed at the two-day RSS national executive meeting said.

Addressing a press conference here, the RSS publicity head, Shrikant Joshi, said naxalism was getting support from "some quarters" in the name of the "rights of the poor".

By advocating soft borders with Pakistan, ridiculing India's nuclear weapons programme, championing the cause of the naxals, campaigning against the Gujarat Police over the killing of the Laskar-e-Taiba terrorist Ishrat Jehan and launching a smear campaign against the Special Task Force after the killing of Veerappan, these human rights activists had openly demonstrated their contempt for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.

The resolution, he said, also took note of the support the media was giving these voluntary organisations. He said no political party had been sincere in tackling terrorism and naxalism. The Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act had not been repealed due to political reasons. This had led to an increase in terrorism.

The Government's refusal to repeal the "retrograde IMDT Act" clearly showed it was not serious about tackling the problem of infiltration from Bangladesh. The national executive urged the government to keep a strict vigil on the activities of these groups. The resolution also talked about terrorism in Kashmir and attacks on Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and ministers in the recent past.

PTI, UNI

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