Narendra Modi meets RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Narendra Modi meets RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
Nagpur:  Narendra Modi has reached the Nagpur headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and is meeting its chief Mohan Bhagwat.

The BJP's election campaign chief is expected to be handed a list of Dos and Don'ts after he presents his ideas on how to take on the Congress-led UPA in the general elections of 2014 and details any complaints that he may have.   

Before they head for dinner, Mr Modi is expected to be told that he must take along other top leaders of the BJP - especially those close to party patriarch LK Advani who had opposed his recent promotion - as he steers the party's election campaign. Mr Modi is reputed to play lone ranger as seen in Gujarat, where even RSS functionaries are said to have been upset at being sidelined by him.

Mr Bhagwat will also reportedly discuss with Mr Modi how to balance an "unapologetic" Hindutva agenda with the promise of development and good governance.

The RSS, which is the BJP's ideological mentor, decided earlier this year that Hindutva issues like the Ram temple at Ayodhya must reflect in the BJP's campaign for 2014. Within weeks of being elevated as the BJP's campaign committee chief, Mr Modi has made several controversial statements that would seem in line with that RSS mandate.

But senior leaders in the BJP have cautioned that this must not deflect attention from core issues like corruption, a flagging economy and the scandals that have rocked the Congress-led UPA government, which it hopes to dislodge next year.

Sources say the RSS wants the party to keep attacking the UPA government and especially corner Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the alleged coal block allocation scam.  

Mr Modi, a former RSS pracharak or worker, is also expected to discuss with Mr Bhagwat how to counter the negative impact from the chargesheet filed in the Ishrat Jehan case by the CBI, which has accused eight cops in his administration of murder.

Ten days ago Mr Bhagwat had met senior BJP leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani and then party president Rajnath Singh, who was reportedly advised that the veterans must be kept be given an important part in election activities, even as it was made clear that there must be no hurdles in the way of Mr Modi as he takes centre-stage in the run-up to 2014. 

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