PUNE: The induction of party hoppers Narayan Rane and Naresh Agrawal in BJP has not gone down well with the RSS cadre. Sources informed that the recent announcement of Rane as BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate from Maharashtra and the political slugfest which started in aftermath of a controversial statement made against Jaya Bachchan by newly-inducted Naresh Agrawal, has irked RSS.
However, the leaders of RSS denied interfering in BJP’s matters but the undercurrents are strong against the two newly-inducted leaders.
A source in RSS said that the announcement of Narayan Rane as a BJP candidate for Rajya Sabha is a political game to counter Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He said, “They have chosen him over party workers and loyalists who have given half their life for the development of party just to gain political mileage in Konkan. There is unrest among a section of swayamsevaks as well as BJP workers on this decision.”
It is significant to note that Rane, a traditional party hopper with a strong base in Konkan, lashed out at BJP and RSS during the JNU row in support of Rahul Gandhi and the idea of him becoming a Rajya Sabha member on a BJP ticket is not going down well with the cadres.
Besides Narayan Rane, newly-inducted Naresh Agrawal, a former Samajwadi Party leader who has created a political slugfest on the very first day of joining BJP by making controversial statements against Jaya Bachchan, has not gone down smoothly with RSS workers.
An RSS leader based in Nagpur said, “Induction and promotions of leaders like Rane and Agrawal is not good for the image of the party. Although, RSS doesn’t interfere in the decisions taken by the BJP, one should keep in mind that the party should induct good people and not someone who is against its ideology. People with corrupt records should not be promoted for political gains and giving preference to such people de-motivates the workers who work selflessly for the party.”
A BJP source based in Delhi, said, “Rane and Agrawal are being supported to increase the strength of the party in Rajya Sabha and nothing else. Both of them are going to help in future elections. Definitely, there is kind of opposition among party workers on this decision but the party has taken the decision for the larger good.”
A senior RSS functionary from Western Maharashtra, said, “We don’t interfere with the decisions of BJP and sometimes to gain ground, such political people are given preference over loyalists. It is not that BJP has become like Congress but to remain in power, such strategies have to be followed. But yes, there should be a limit to it because superseding party workers who have given their lives for the party can create unrest among the cadre.”
When questioned Manmohan Vaidya, RSS Sah Sarkaryava, regarding the issue, he said, “First of all, you need to understand that we don’t poke our nose in matters related to the BJP. Secondly, it is the decision taken by BJP and it is going to harm us. I don’t think that it can affect the motivation of our cadre.”
When queried BJP National General Secretary P Murlidhar about the undercurrents against Rane and Agrawal in BJP and RSS cadre, he denied commenting on the issue.