//RSS firms grip on BJP; Organising Secys to call the shots

RSS firms grip on BJP; Organising Secys to call the shots

NEW DELHI, MAY 29 (PTI)

In a move seen as RSS' tightening of its grip of BJP, the saffron party today amended its constitution to give sweeping powers to its President Rajnath Singh to appoint and remove Sangh nominees as party Organising Secretaries from district level upwards.

On the very first day of the party's national executive, the first since Singh took over as party chief, the delegates unanimously adopted the amendments providing for Secretaries (Organisation) to work under the powerful General Secretary (Organisation), a post currently being held by Sanjay Joshi deputed by RSS to the party.

State Organising Secretaries too cannot be appointed or changed by any provincial head without consulting the party's national President following the four amendments, party sources said.

Similarly, without consulting the state party President, no General Secretary (Organisation) can be either appointed or removed at the district level.

Apparently acting under RSS diktat, the party also decided to appoint Zonal Organising Secretaries who would be incharge of one or more states and at the state level incharge of one or more districts.

The meeting, attended among others by the Leader of the Opposition L K Advani who had to resign following a spat with RSS over the Jinnah controversy, authorised the party chief to directly appoint the Organising Secretaries.

However, party sources said the BJP President would be consulting the RSS top brass before taking any decisions in this regard.

The RSS, which played a key role in Rajnath Singh's appointment as BJP chief, insists on the party's return to its ideological moorings. The latest move is seen in BJP circles as part of the Sangh spiritual founthead's efforts to cement its hold on the party.

With Advani publicly lashing out at the RSS for "interference" in the party's day-to-day affairs at the party's Chennai national executive last September, the Sangh founthead decided to maintain a low-profile while pursuing its objectives through an obliging party chief.

The RSS even abolished the post of spokesperson to avoid being dragged into any controversy.

Besides making the states where BJP is in power to enact laws against conversions and cow slaughter, the Sangh's invisible hands were behind bringing back Sanjay Joshi as party General Secretary (Organisation) after the Madhya Pradesh Police gave him a 'clean chit' in the sleaze CD scam.

Soon after assuming charge as party chief, Singh had told PTI in an interview that he wanted more whole-timers to man the party at the state, zonal and national levels to "share the burden of his responsibility." With today's amendments, it appears the RSS has obliged.