Hectic Discussions Between RSS and BJP in Delhi, But All Calm in Nagpur

NagpurOn Thursday morning, the top bosses of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Nagpur were amused to read media reports that they were headed to Delhi. 

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, his deputy Bhaiyyaji Joshi and others are traveling, but only to different places for programmes planned months ago, senior functionaries at the RSS headquarters said. (Over Three Hours, Rajnath Meets RSS Leaders, Amit Shah Joins In)

They said the leaders would catch the latest on the general election results on TV or on their mobile phones through apps or regular updates from volunteers. 

The nonchalance in Nagpur about counting day is in deep contrast with hectic discussions on in Delhi, where Suresh Soni, a second-line RSS leader met BJP president Rajnath Singh for over three hours today. They were joined by Amit Shah, chief aide of Narendra Modi, the man widely expected to be India’s next Prime Minister at the head of a BJP-led NDA government. 

The RSS has played a significant role in the BJP’s focused attempt to wrest back power from the Congress. It mobilised its vast cadres to ensure a BJP win and now, with exit polls predicting that victory, wants to ensure a smooth transition for Mr Modi. (BJP-RSS Meet Amid Post-Poll Strategy Sessions: 10 Developments)

The Sangh reportedly wants no nasty last-minute surprises or public sulks by senior BJP leaders of the kind veteran LK Advani staged last year and part of the agenda of the Delhi talks is to decide on roles for him and others who have had differences with Mr Modi, like MM Joshi. (Rajnath Singh Meets RSS Chief Again, Two Meetings in 24 Hours)

While exit polls predict a clear majority for the BJP and its allies, the RSS and BJP leaders are discussing Plan B and possible allies if the NDA falls short of numbers. The BJP has said it will welcome any party that wishes to support it.

Sources said the RSS-BJP talks were granular – roles for different leaders and possible ministries were also discussed. 

RSS sources however insist that the organisation is not sitting in on decisions like ministry allocation in a possible Modi cabinet. They say Mr Soni has met Rajnath Singh only to “exchange views.” Government formation, they say, is just not big enough for the RSS bosses to get involved in.

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