Breakfast meeting between Advani, RSS chief

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New Delhi, Aug.30 (ANI): Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat had a breakfast meeting with senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K.Advani on Sunday morning, and it is believed that both discussed a proposed succession plan for the latter.

The meeting ended a short while ago, even as the leaderships of the two parties reiterated that they were united in working on solutions to end the present crisis in the BJP.

Sunday's breakfast meeting between Advani and Bhagwat was the second between the two. They had earlier met on Saturday afternoon for about two hours at the RSS headquarters in Delhi - Keshavkunj to discuss various issues.

Saturday's meeting took place amid reports that the RSS has readied a succession plan for the BJP. However, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters at a press conference that no succession plan was discussed.

The RSS is believed to have told the BJP leadership to set its house in order. In a sign that this is being given serious thought, top brass of the BJP met at Advani's residence yesterday morning for about two hours and briefed him about their discussions with Bhagwat on Friday.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj joined other party colleagues - Arun Jaitely, Ananth Kumar and M.Venkaiah Naidu at the residence of Advani to reportedly discuss a viable succession plan.

It is reliably learnt that though there are no immediate plans to change in the top leadership, a succession plan is being readied in consultation with the RSS.

Sources said the RSS has firmly asked BJP leaders to end the infighting in the party and reach a consensus on a new party chief.

The decision to call Jaitley and Swaraj together to a meeting at the RSS headquarters is seen as very significant, as they are the leading contenders for the party leadership, sparking speculation that a power-sharing arrangement might have been arrived at.

Jaitley looks the front-runner for the party chief"s job while Swaraj is tipped to take over from Advani as Leader of Opposition. If implemented, the party could see Naidu becoming Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, a post currently held by Jaitley.

The RSS has felt that if the factionalism is not quickly resolved, the issue could prolong till the end of the year.

Sunday's breakfast meeting took place even as senior Rashtriya Swayam Sewak (RSS) leader Madan Das Devi told a press conference on the same day that he was confident about the BJP taking appropriate steps to resolve all of its problems.

"We (RSS) are hopeful that the crisis in the BJP will be resolved. The RSS is assured that the BJP will overcome all problems. We all think that a large party such as the BJP has the capability of being given new direction and end its problems. Important BJP leaders met leaders of the RSS. Shri L.K.Advani and other senior BJP leaders met us. We discussed issues of national importance, party issues etc. They have assured us that the problems of the party will be resolved," he said.

At Sunday's breakfast meeting Bhagwat was accompanied by Madandas Devi, and it is expected that discussions on a new roadmap for the BJP, including a possible change of leadership, will continue.

Sources said the BJP will most likely announce a succession plan on Sunday. It is indicated that individual responsibilities in the party would be finalised in the coming weeks.

There were indications that BJP could come out with some statement tomorrow, but RSS sources said nothing spectacular could be expected.

Advani is reportedly under pressure from rebels to step down as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.

Various names are under consideration, including Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj and Bal Apte. However, both the RSS and the BJP have maintained that they were not discussing any succession plan. (ANI)

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