Advani, RSS chief have ‘detailed and candid’ interaction (Third Lead)

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) BJP leader L.K. Advani had a “detailed and candid” interaction with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat here Thursday over recent developments after Narendra Modi’s elevation as party’s face for 2014 Lok Sabha polls but there was no tangible outcome as the Sangh said further discussions were needed on several issues.

The meeting was the first between Advani and Bhagwat since the BJP veteran resented Modi’s elevation as the campaign committee chief for the next Lok Sabha polls, and slammed his party’s leaders for “pursuing personal agenda”.

The meeting took place at Keshavkunj, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Delhi, and lasted an hour.

A statement issued by the RSS described Advani’s interaction as “detailed and candid” and said the BJP leader conveyed his views on various developments in the country, the role of the party and the broad nationalist movement led by the Sangh.

“It was opined that several issues need further discussion and exchange of notes at various levels. Same will take place at appropriate time,” the statement said, pointing to more role of Sangh in BJP affairs.

“Shri Bhagwatji also suggested that such useful exchange of views should continue in future also,”the statement added.

The meeting was scheduled for Wednesday but could not take place as Advani reported ill. It followed Bhagwat’s telephonic conversation with Advani last week in which he advised him not to press his resignation from party posts.

Sources close to Advani said “it was good, comprehensive meeting.”

They said it would not be appropriate to describe the meeting as inconclusive as the process has to be carried forward.

Advani had created a sensation by resigning from key party posts June 10, one day after Modi’s elevation was announced at a party meet in Goa, and alleging in a letter to BJP president Rajnath Singh that most party leaders were busy pursuing personal agenda.

Party sources said Advani discussed the situation since Modi’s elevation with Bhagwat.

They said Advani has reservations over the role played by some RSS functionaries who apparently promoted Modi.

The BJP has already made it clear that there was no question of going back on its decision concerning Modi. Rajnath Singh has also assured Advani that his concerns about the functioning of the party will be addressed.

Modi’s elevation has also split the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, with the long-time trusted ally Janata Dal-United walking away from the coalition.

Replying to questions from media persons about Advani’s meeting with Bhagwat, BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said party leaders meet RSS functionaries routinely.

“Discussions are on issues of national interest, mutual interest,” he said.

Naidu also met Bhagwat Thursday.

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