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Vajpayee Was People's Leader, But on 5 Issues He Didn't Agree With RSS: Govindacharya

Govindacharya says that in his opinion, Vajpayee always remained true to his Sangh background although there were issues like FDI on which his government and RSS didn't see eye to eye.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:August 17, 2018, 3:27 PM IST
Vajpayee Was People's Leader, But on 5 Issues He Didn't Agree With RSS: Govindacharya
Illustration by Mir Suhail.

New Delhi: Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Sangh ideologue KN Govindacharya go a long way. At the time when the country is mourning the loss of its former Prime Minister, Govindacharya has shared the five principles that defined Vajpayee's politics.

In a conversation with News18, Govindacharya said Vajpayee set some benchmarks in politics and cultivated them all his political life. “Firstly, Atal ji believed 'yes, we need power but not at all cost,' he never had the no-holds-barred approach towards power and never compromised with that pedestal," he said.

Vajpayee, he said, believed good politics should be people-centric, and not power-centric. “Politics should reach and benefit people, it should not be about grabbing the power," he added.

Govindacharya said the third principle that defined Vajpayee’s politics was that personal and political interests should be subservient to party interest, which, in turn, should be governed by the national and social interests.

Giving the fourth and fifth points, the Sangh ideologue added, "He believed that one should not indulge in politics of confrontation but cultivate the politics of engagement and dialogue. Adding to that, he wanted the party people to make trust the basis of their politics rather than conflict."

He, however, didn't throw light on his shortcomings as a leader, saying "this is not the right time".

The two leaders had a fall out in October 1997 over his alleged statement against the BJP stalwart.

As per reports of the time, Govindacharya had called Vajpayee a 'mask', and LK Advani the real leader. He was the BJP general secretary and his alleged remarks were seen as “derogatory” against the former prime minister, who was later awarded the Bharat Ratna.

Vajpayee had taken serious objection to the remarks, and wrote a letter to then party president LK Advani urging him to look into the issue.

"That controversy started on October 6 and ended on October 30, 1997. I gave my verbatim speech of 17 pages and he found no mention of the word mask. In 1998, I was again made the general secretary, which means the controversy had lost its life," he said.

Govindacharya said that Vajapyee always remained true to his Sangh background. "Though there were issues in which his government and RSS under Sudarshan didn't see eye to eye."

He mentioned that the major points of conflict were "FDI in insurance, approach towards World Trade Organisation, Patent Laws, Tehri Dam and Ramjanambhhomi".

NDA had also detained Ashok Singhal, the VHP leader, which caused tension. “Naturally, some were upset.”

But no matter what, there will never be ideal delivery on Sangh's expectations, and Sangh understands that, he said, and added, "There were issues on which the Sangh and BJP had disparate views and didn't see eye to eye. But Sangh understands that there are political constraints because of which there can't be a perfect performance on their expectations, and Sangh respects those constraints."

He signed off saying, "Despite the absence of that perfect scenario the two - BJP and RSS - remain cordial."

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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