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Why is Sangh Parivar angry with the BJP?

Neena Vyas

Differences existed beyond Ayodhya

NEW DELHI: Why are the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its many affiliates angry with the Bharatiya Janata Party? "Sangh Parivar ko gussa kyon ata hai?''

The RSS chief, K.S. Sudarshan's outburst suggesting that the BJP's big two, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, "step aside," was not entirely unexpected. The fault lines were there and the stress had been building up for some time, a BJP leader close to Mr. Sudarshan said. Another party leader directly associated with the Ram temple movement noted that Mr. Advani's emphasis on "ideological commitment'' at the party's National Council session carried no credibility.

Loyal `swayamsevaks' point out that after rounds of `chintan baithaks' (brainstorming sessions) the Sangh Parivar leadership had agreed on a number of issues to be taken up aggressively by the BJP, but its leadership failed to act when it was in power from 1998 to 2004.

Inaction

The BJP could not take forward the Ram temple issue for obvious reasons — the matter was in a court; there was a second party, Muslims, involved in the dispute; and the BJP's allies in the National Democratic Alliance did not want the issue to be raked up. These problems did not exist in the area of disinvestment, foreign direct investment in the insurance sector, or in identification and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants entering India. What prevented the Vajpayee Government from acting on these issues is the question being asked in RSS circles.

RSS sources admit that Yashwant Sinha became the Finance Minister in 1998 with RSS approval after Mr. Vajpayee was forced to drop Jaswant Singh's name for that slot. At that time, he was close to the RSS affiliate, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, and a proponent of `swadeshi' economics.

Govindacharya's exit

But after Mr. Sinha got the job, the Manch leadership was marginalised; its most vocal supporter, K.N. Govindacharya, was forced out of the BJP; and the Government's economic policies moved rapidly in a direction opposite to what was agreed Sangh-BJP policy. As one `swayamsevak' asked, was there coalition compulsion to sell off Modern Bakery in Delhi or the Centaur Hotel in Mumbai cheaply?

The insurance sector was opened to foreign direct investment (FDI) turning upside down not only the Sangh's approved policy but also the BJP's own resolution on this issue, and without taking either the Sangh or the BJP president at the time, Kushabhau Thakre, into confidence.

On identification and deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh and on the promised ISI activities "white paper," the BJP-led government failed to deliver despite Mr. Advani presiding over the Home Ministry.

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