RSS in Damage Control Mode? Sources Say It Will Manage BJP's Bihar Strategy

File photo: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat during an organisational event in Kanpur. (Press Trust of India)

New Delhi:

After the BJP's debacle in the Delhi elections, its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS has reportedly stepped in to oversee its strategy in Bihar, where assembly elections are due later this year.

RSS functionary Dattatreya Hosabale met several BJP leaders to discuss Bihar on Monday, sources told NDTV.

They said the RSS plans to monitor the BJP campaign in Bihar closely and is also reportedly calibrating the party's response to the ongoing tussle within the ruling Janata Dal United for the post of chief minister in the state.

It is said to be averse to any direct intervention by the BJP when current chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi seeks a trust vote in the Bihar assembly on Friday.

The BJP has so far emphasised that it has nothing to do with what it officially calls an internal matter of the JD (U).

But Nitish Kumar of the JD(U), who wants to return as Chief Minister, has accused the BJP of scripting the rebellion of Mr Manjhi, who has defied his party and refused to resign despite reportedly having the support of only a handful of JDU legislators.

"It all started after Jitan Ram Manjhi met the Prime Minister. The BJP is working behind the scenes in Bihar," Mr Kumar alleged after the Bihar Governor KN Tripathi rejected his request for an immediate floor test.

The BJP's string of successes in state elections held after its massive win in the national elections last May came to an abrupt halt in Delhi, where the party has managed to win just three of 70 seats despite a high-voltage campaign that involved a battery of central leaders and ministers and showcased Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two-year-old Aam Aadmi Party has won 67 seats.

BJP organisational secretary Ramlal, who is on deputation from the RSS to the party, has been tasked with preparing a report on the humiliating defeat.

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