RSS, BJP deny differences on Advani yatra

September 21st, 2011 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) Both the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday denied any differences over the candidature of senior party leader L.K. Advani as prime minister in the 2014 general elections.

The RSS said it has no role in deciding the candidate for the BJP, while Advani has already indicated he will not be in the race.

“To conclude that there is some directive or diktat from the RSS in regard to any of these things is not correct; these are all issues the party, in its own wisdom, decides,” RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said Thursday.

“Issues of who will be the prime minister will be decided by the party; the RSS has no role, no comment to make on this,” he said.

The clarification came after reports suggested the RSS saw in Advani’s ” rath yatra” - an anti-corruption road-show - an attempt to pitch himself as the prime ministerial candidate.

Madhav also said that the RSS supported the anti-corruption campaign announced by Advani.

“Our swayamsevaks will support any initiative by any person to curb corruption in the country,” he said. “We continue to say this and we continue to support the yatra.”

BJP member Balbir Punj said linking Advani’s “yatra” to his prime ministerial candidature was a “propaganda”.

“For some reason, there has been propaganda in the media that it is linked to his (Advani’s) desire to become prime minister,” Punj said.

“Nothing could be farther from truth,” he said. “The earlier ‘yatras’ were never linked to this kind of thing because Mr Advani has never linked his social activities to political activities.”

Punj added, “He has very clearly opted out; I don’t see any reason why there should be confusion about it.”

Talking to newsmen after meeting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur, Advani Wednesday indicated he may not be in fray for the post in the 2014 elections. However, he neither confirmed nor denied clearly the possibility.

Party president Nitin Gadkari had earlier announced the BJP would not project any prime ministerial candidate while contesting the 2014 elections.

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