Amit Shah meets senior RSS leaders, discusses VP polls & party organisation

Amit Shah meets senior RSS leaders, discusses VP polls & party organisation


New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah and top RSS leaders are said to have held a few rounds of informal and formal meetings during last few days and reportedly discussed among other things, the NDA nominee for Vice-President's post and also possible cabinet expansion. Sources said Mr Shah also held one-on-one meeting with the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The BJP central leadership is exploring the necessities about an organisational reshuffle too as the party wants to get going about crucial assembly elections in 2018 in states like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and also in Mizoram and three other northeastern states - Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura. "Time is also ripe to start going for initial round of preparations for 2019 general elections," the source said. Two other states Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh also go for elections later this year. The BJP Parliamentary Board will meet in Delhi either on July 13 0r 14 and decide about Vice-Presidential nominee. The opposition parties have decided to field Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the post. Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to expand his council of ministers and also go for a minor reshuffle as he needs dedicated people for crucial portfolio of Defence. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional portfolio of Defence after Manohor Parrikar was shifted back to Goa to take over the reins as the Chief Minister. A section of party leaders indicate that Mr Modi and Mr Shah can again opt for bringing in 'one of the Chief Ministers' as Defence Minister -- but not many are enthusiastic about the idea. "Moreover, the assembly elections are crucial for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. BJP is in power in these states for last 14-15 years and anti-incumbency mood cannot be brushed aside," the source said. A section of RSS leaders is said to be in favour of a senior BJP general secretary join the ministry as in-charge of Defence, but in principle the RSS leadership is learnt to have given free hand to Prime Minister on cabinet expansion or reshuffle. But the Sangh fountainhead reportedly favours retaining Prakash Javadekar as the Minister for Human Resource Development. The Sangh fountainhead, however, gave its inputs about organisational matters. The developments in Bihar politics with Nitish-Lalu Prasad differences widening and the pressure on the centre vis-a-vis terror strike on Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir also figured prominently in the discussions, source said. Some leaders demanded firm actions against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, according to sources, RSS leaders also held their own separate meeting on various issues concerning the Sangh and socio-political situation in the country

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