'It is for BJP to decide on leadership age issue,' Kandahar: Bhagwat

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New Delhi, Aug.28 (ANI): Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Mohan Bhagwat said on Friday that the age group of 55 to 60 is the ideal for leaders of the Sangh Parivar, and added that it was for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to decide at what age its leaders will quit office and retire.

While stating that the RSS preferred not to interfere in the internal matters of the BJP or other affiliates, Bhagwat said: "It is for the party to decide on the leadership issue. Opinions given by me to party leaders are not official. The RSS does not advise BJP in matters of governance."

His comments were with reference to the criticisms launched against senior BJP leader L.K. Advani by some of his former and current colleagues, including Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh, besides former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra.

On the 1999 Kandahar hijack episode, he said the RSS had no role to play. When asked for his reaction to the criticism being leveled against Advani by his colleagues for not accepting that he was present when all key decisions relating to that incident were taken, he said that he had no comment to make, and added that it was for the BJP to say anything on the matter.

"We advise and support the BJP, but decisions in internal matters is theirs. We are never worried, we will tide over the crisis.

He repeatedly refused to comment on the BJP crisis, and as far as Shourie's comments were concerned, he said: "Don't want to comment on what Shourie said about others."

Bhagwat's comments came after his meetings on Thursday with BJP president Rajnath Singh and senior leader Murli Manhar Joshi. The discussion with Singh lasted for one-and-a-half hours.

BJP leader Varun Gandhi also met him on Friday morning for about 45 minutes.

Bhagwat had on August 18 called for an end to factionalism in the BJP, the political wing of the Sangh Parivar, and said the party leadership should make way for younger leaders.

The expulsion of Jaswant Singh, two days after the launch of his latest book-Jinnah: India -Partition - Independence, has been criticised by senior leaders Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha. Shourie has called on the RSS to take over the leadership of the BJP. (ANI)

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