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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Takeover hiccups

There appears to be growing unease in the "political" sections of the BJP at the RSS takeover of the organisation.

That the takeover is proceeding gradually isn't in any doubt but it would be inaccurate to say that it is total. In important areas, the political wing retains control and in states where the BJP is in power, the RSS pracharaks have made limited headway (the possible exception is Madhya Pradesh).

The takeover is being actively promoted by RN Singh who wants his malleability to become the basis for his next job after he steps down as president. For example, he is the only one pursuing the attempted removal of Vasundhara Raje as Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan. Most of the other top leaders have veered round to the belief that the removal of Vasundhara is needless.

RN's desperation to toe the Sangh line at any cost saw him securing the removal of Satyabrata (Jolu) Mukherjee as president of the West Bengal unit. Mukherjee's crime was to have issued a show cause notice to the RSS-appointed Sangathan Mantri.

By convention, the Sangathan Mantri is not accountable to the BJP but only to the Sangh. A bizarre arrangement.

There is a section of the Sangh that wants to reward RNS by appointing him Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha (LKA will be made chairman of the parliamentary party). Such an appointment would be tantamount to a cruel joke on the very institution of parliamentary democracy.

The takeover strategists believe that with RNS at the helm in the Lok Sabha, their own man as national president and Nagpur-appointed officers working as sangathan mantri throughout India, the BJP will be a mirror image of the Sangh.

There have been complaints from different states that the sangathan mantris are exercising tight control over the renewal of membership in the districts. They are following Lenin's dictum: "better fewer, but better".

The difference between a voluntary organisation and a political party has been lost sight of. A voluntary organisation is oriented towards its membership; a political party has to take the whole country as its target audience.

So, who is likely to be the next president of the BJP?

As of now, NITIN GADHKARI is the clear favourite.

With his amiable disposition, he has the advantage of being liked by everyone, including the LKA camp. If the BJP-SS does well in Maharashtra, his prospects will improve.

If the takeover falters, the dark horse to look out for is the evergreen M.VENKIAH NAIDU of Nellore.


K said...

Even if it is Gadkari or RN Singh, will the Dili 4 stop their fingering?

Anand said...

Funny party, nasty politicians.

Anonymous said...

This is a news plant by Swapan to indicate the discomfort of his master Arun Jaitley over the promotion of Manohar Parrikar.

Arun Jaitley survives inside the party on two accounts - Middle class face & legal expert. The problem for Jaitley is that Manohar Parrikar has the capacity of becoming the middle-class face (thanks to his honesty & IIT background)and Parrikar is pushing his good friend Mahesh Jethmalani to handle the party's legal affairs. The Rancid pickle comment of Parrikar was less directed at Advani and more at his coterie.

As far as Gadkari is concerned he is a individual performer. He is eying the Dy. CM post as Munde is not ready to work under Uddhav. He has also won over the loyalty of Vinod Tawde as he is the other aspirant. Another factor that is working against Gadkari is that he is a Brahmin and RSS does not want too many "B"'s at the top. Infact Rajanth Singh is pushing for the candidature of Munde as a reciprocation of what Mahajan did to RN Singh in 2005.

Let Swapan not invent new stories, it is wrap up time for him and his master in Dilli. Goa BJP has said in so many words that Parrikar will lead the BJP next.

Bye Bye Dilli4.. Bye Bye Jaitely....

PS: Manohar Parikkar has indicated that he prefers Jaitley & Rajnath strengthening the state units of Delhi & UP. After all that is the need of the hour.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult not being pro-establishment in these times when every journalist worth his degree is tripping over one another in proving their pro-establishment credentials, largely by discrediting the opposition at every opportunity, more so during election time. Some have certainly hit the jackpot doing so. I may be wrong but I have a feeling that the peer pressure on you to be not unlike them is getting at you. The difference your writing had with your peers at least in this blog is blurring.

Anonymous said...

If the takeover happens, BJP will be finished.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad to see you become a bhompu of AJ & Co. If you continue on this path, your position will be very much like LK Advani's now. Why should not RSS takeover BJP? If AJ& Co do not like it, they should have built cadre and organisation, instead of using his media cronies in Delhi to destroy other leaders in party (Exhibit A:Uma Bharati). Many others have openly said the same thing. Between Advani and his Gang of Four, they will totally destroy the party! What ther party needs is a Mr Deng to send these musketeers to where they belong - dusbin - if the party has to survive and recover!

Anonymous said...

A good showing in Maha is not in BJP's long term interests. Status quoists in the party will use it to argue that no change is needed. A "dignified defeat" is the best outcome we can hope for.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit unfair to accuse Swapan of being "pro-establishment" but definitely his bias is showing. Why is RSS "takeover" of BJP wrong? Why can't a "voluntary organization" take the whole country as its audience? Fact is, the RSS has presence where even the BJP doesn't, and that presence didn't depend on winning elections.

BharatRight said...

We agree with Mr. Sengupta that the RSS cannot run BJP from outside. Either the RSS has to become part of BJP to understand that a political party cannot function successfully in an ideological vacuum and practicalities need to be understood and respected. Or, the RSS needs to let BJP be run by politicians. BJP will never be able to come back to power on a narrow agenda. Mr. Vajpayee showed that moderate politics is the only way to win power and serve the country.

Jiggs said...

Nitin Gadkari is a fine and able man as the party president, but you have Gopinath Munde to puncture Nitin's moves.

IMO, Nitin Gadkari or Manohar Parikkar or even Gen. B C Khanduri should be in the reckoning for the party presidents post.

Srikumar said...

Firstly, Mr.Dasgupta should realise that LK Adavni post 2005 and his coterie (AJ SS etc etc) have failed miserably in their roles. At a time when people like Brijesh Mishra, Yashwant Sinha etc have caused great damage to party after gaining everything from the party; it’s quite obvious that loyalty to the Sarsanghchalak is foremost. Who gets important posts in Cong? Those who are loyal to Sonia G right? Then it’s the same logic that people loyal to Mohanji should get the important posts in BJP. The second rung of BJP has totally failed, so there is no other option except to go to Mohanji. Give him total control, let him do whatever he wants, it will hopefully be for the welfare of the party.

Chuck out SS, AJ and RNS from Delhi; let SS and AJ work to strengthen the party in their home states Haryana, Delhi (state level) where BJP was swept out or at least get themselves elected. RNS should return to his original role of a regional satrap.
And let Venkiah naidu win at least a municipal election in Nellore b4 he wants to become president of a national party.

Make Nitin Gadkari the party president and Manohar Parrikar the LOP in Lok Sabha (of course after getting elected from North Goa, Shripad Yasso Naik can be accommodated in Rajya Sabha)

Note: Swapanda pls don’t let your friendship with Arun J influence ur ideas, he had done grave mistakes by using a hostile media to settle factional scores. Wonder how long Narendra bhai would back him, if he keeps on making such blunders. Or is he also a selfish politician?

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Anonymous said...

Quibble , Quibble , Quibble


Vicky said...

'Better fewer, but better' only works for authoritarian regimes, where you can control a large populace with small number of people. If RSS thinks this should be implemented in BJP, it actually shows that RSS hasn't fully understood politics.

I don't envy RSS, they are in a bad position right now, dealing with BJP's factionalism, growing the party and maintaining their cultural activities, they have lot on their plate. So it would be better for them and the party, if they appoint someone, who is not factional as the head of the party and move away from direct politics.

While all this is going on, Congress is not sitting idle, they are trying their hardest to review the party and bring back their lost glory days. If BJP wants to put up a fight, they should clear this mess ASAP and start concentrating on reviving and growing the party in large parts of the country.

mpanj said...

On M'rastra elections:

Apart from the MNS factor, the other joker in the pack is Sena's lack of credibility.

Even loyal, blue collar foot soldiers of Sena have serious doubts.

Sena took their core constituency for granted, much as LKA took his core constituency for granted.

The chickens have come home....

I dont know why both BJP and SS are so eager to please and impress those that are vehemently opposed to them - psec media, bollywood, minorities...WTH.

Now they have little credibility left.

Countering MNS wont be easy. Raj T. is hammering away at the raw nerve and Sena is caught between a rock and hard place.

Anonymous said...

BJP is finsihed - Advani and his gang, fully helped by selish parasites like Rajnath, Joshi, etc will ensure that.

Supporter said...

I think RSS always had a say in key BJP decisions. How else can you explain the unaccountability of RNS. IMO front seat driving is any day preferable to backseat one. But the question is will Mohan Bhagwat take responsibility for BJP's election success/failures?

mpanj said...

More M'rastra elections:

one little discussed aspect of M'rastra elections is the non-Congress, non-SS vote, pro-NCP vote.

It's difficult to gauge the exact size of this segment. But this segment is likely to stay home or vote against NCP.

With NCP fighting 114 seats - Both SS/BJP and MNS might just benefit from flipping this segment.

charuvak said...

Swapanda...could you please, gather all the Anonymous comments and place them separately. For its tiresome to crawl thru all of them.

If they don't wanna be known, let them not be known. Why should the rest of us suffer ?

It's not like your stopping ppl from commenting ?

I don't care for anonymous cowards. What point can they make that I should have my ears open ?

sanjay said...

@churavak, interestingly Swapanda's latest blog in TOI touches upon the same issue. Propriety V/s Freedom of expression is a pretty old debate. I am for the latter. Not in many places is a no holds barred discussion allowed, some nuisance can always be tolerated, afterall you need not read every word of a comment if you don't want to.