ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The BJP and the RSS

Family Squabbles Turn Intense

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has always sought to exercise an ironclad control over its political offspring, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The machinations of the former have directed the fortunes of the latter, including determining who the party president should be. Over the last two decades, however, there have been many changes in the relationship between the two. Most recently, while the current Sangh chief, Mohan Bhagwat favoured "regional" leadership of the party over Delhi-centric leaders, his choice, Nitin Gadkari, had to step aside and make way for Rajnath Singh. The run-up to the 2014 general elections will tell if the BJP will assert its identity or if the Sangh will try to regain complete control.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh lost no time after his appointment in sounding the war cry on his party’s pet theme cross-border terrorism.

Little over a year remains for the next Lok Sabha elections and the BJP and Congress are bracing themselves for the “dress rehearsal” that will be staged on the battlegrounds of Karnataka (April-May 2013), Jharkhand (schedule uncertain) and Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (November-December 2013). The last four states will see the Congress and the BJP embroiled in a direct contest while Karnataka has four players (the Congress, BJP, Janata Dal-Secular and Karnataka Janata Party) and Jharkhand has a multitude of parties besides the two main ones.

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