Rajnath offers Speaker’s post to ‘Iron Man’ Advani
New power equations in BJP appear to be the focus of hectic consultations between the party leaders and RSS brass amid questions over what role senior leaders like L K Advani would have in a Narendra Modi-led dispensation.
Ahead of the counting of votes on Friday, BJP president Rajnath Singh held a significant meeting with Advani, where he is reported to have mooted the idea of Lok Sabha Speaker’s post for the party patriarch. Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, is understood to be disinclined to accept the offer since he prefers a political role, possibly be the NDA chairman.
Earlier in the day, senior BJP and RSS leaders met at the residence of Rajnath Singh. The meeting was attended by RSS pointsman in BJP Suresh Soni besides Ram Lal, Saudan Singh and V Sathish.
The two-hour meeting saw discussions on issues pertaining to steps to be taken in case the party comes to power and the role various leaders will have in the government and the organisation, sources said. Narendra Modi’s close aide and party general secretary Amit Shah also joined them later. Former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, meanwhile, met RSS leaders at the Sangh office in Jhandewalan to discuss the possible role of party elders and others who could be spared for government.
Shah also joined in later. Sources said the party is considering drastic changes in the organisation in the wake of its possible government formation.
Senior leader Uma Bharti also met Advani at his residence besides meeting Gadkari at the latter’s residence. There are also questions about the role some other senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj would get.
Swaraj, who had initially been unhappy over projection of Modi as prime ministerial candidate, is said to be playing the wait-and-watch game along with Joshi. Party sources feel that if Advani were to become the Speaker, then these two leaders could be part of Modi’s cabinet.