The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sangh reloads gun

New Delhi, Nov. 5: RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan has suggested that the BJP might have to evolve a politburo-like institution for decision-making once L.K. Advani steps down as party president.

An agency report from Nagpur quoted the sarsanghchalak as saying that after the rise of leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani, the concept of “collective leadership” was “sidelined” in the party. “Two leaders in the BJP, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, had reached the top and collective leadership was sidelined.”

Decisions in the parivar were taken “collectively” and not by “individuals”, Sudarshan added. “The RSS is a sun which gives light to everyone. It is up to you to use it.”

Defending himself against the perception that the sarsanghchalak was virtually a law unto himself ' put out by Advani’s supporters following the Jinnah controversy ' Sudarshan held that he was a “friend, philosopher and guide” and ruled out a change of leadership in the RSS, saying there was no “such situation”.

The Advani camp sees Sudarshan as his prime baiter in the Sangh and had thought that if he stepped down before December, the BJP chief could complete his term. They had hoped that as the RSS chief has had a couple of bypass surgeries, he may not want to subject himself further to the rigours of the tours his job demands and pass the baton to his second-in-command, Mohanrao Bhagwat.

Bhagwat is seen as more “BJP-friendly” after he issued a rebuttal of Sudarshan’s first TV interview proposing it was time for a leadership change in the party. He had said the Sangh would not interfere in the BJP’s affairs.

With Sudarshan today putting paid to this speculation, BJP sources said his proposal will be debated informally within. It could be implemented in the form of a presidium of general secretaries “elected” by an electoral college instead of being appointed by the president, they said.

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