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BJP, RSS deny interference

BJP, RSS deny interferenceNew Delhi, June 12 : Even though it took a call from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to defuse the crisis caused by L. K. Advani's resignation, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party Wednesday denied that the Sangh influenced the saffron party's decisions.

Advani, who has been upset over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's elevation as the bJP's poll campaign chief for the Lok Sabha elections, Monday quit key posts in the party.

Though BJP president Rajnath Singh refused to accept Advani's resignation and several party leaders tried to persuade him, the elder leader did not relent till Bhagwat assured him that he would have a say in selecting the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

The development was seen as a confirmation of the influence the Sangh wields on the party.

However, both BJP and the RSS denied it.

BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnwaz Hussain denied any interference from the RSS in BJP affairs.

"Bhagwat talked to Advani because Advani is an old Swayamsevak (RSS cadre). He talked to Advani as a guardian," Hussain said.

RSS leader Ram Madhav said that Bhagwat was not the only one to call Advani.

"When a person of Advani's stature needs to be given some advice, naturally senior people in the country and society will give him advice. Not just RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat but many others had advised Advani to reconsider his decision," Madhav said.

According to sources, Advani sought an assurance from Bhagwat that that he would be kept abreast of all decisions in the party.(IANS)