The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Parivar plans poll liaison network

Indore, April 4: The BJP has decided to put in place a multi-tier coordination mechanism to facilitate its working relations with the RSS and its affiliates in the run-up to the next round of Assembly and general elections.

The decision — taken by the national executive today — envisaged holding regular meetings between the BJP and the Sangh parivar at the village/town, district, state and national levels.

Unveiling the salient features of the mechanism, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu informed the national executive that the village/town units would meet every week, the ones at the district level every month, the state level units every two months and those at the national level every three months.

Naidu is expected to oversee the coordination project along with RSS functionaries Madan Das Devi and Mohanrao Bhagwat.

The BJP also proposed to recruit 10,000 activists, who are expected to dedicate one year to the party without salary and without harbouring political ambitions.

On the ideological plane, Naidu’s opening remarks indicated that this time the BJP would hark back to Hindutva with greater fervour than in the 1999 elections during which its one-point agenda was to keep the NDA coalition together.

Although his speech did not mention Ayodhya — sources said it might surface in the political resolution to be adopted tomorrow — the BJP chief warmed the RSS’ heart when he declared: “Cultural nationalism is our lifeline and Hindutva is the soul of India.”

Speaking of the defeat in the Himachal Pradesh polls, he said: “Our loss in Himachal Pradesh was… interpreted by our adversaries as a defeat of Hindutva. I can only say that whoever feels so is living in fool’s paradise. Hindutva for us is not an electoral issue to be negotiated in political battlefields.”

Naidu’s speech made it clear that the “sustained” campaign the BJP should embark upon for the remaining 15 months before the general elections would be Hindutva-centric.

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