RSS pushes for BJP speaking in one voice on Sushma row

New Delhi, (IANS) With the Narendra Modi government facing its first major controversy ahead of crucial Bihar polls over Sushma Swaraj’s help to former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, the RSS has intervened to ensure that the BJP presents a united face and there is no internal bickering, said informed sources.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defending External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at a joint press conference with Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday was part of the strategy by the RSS, the sources said.

The ideological fountainhead of the Bharatiya Janata Party sought to ensure that the party sends a message of internal cohesion and unity amid concerted attack by the Congress.

Sources said Sushma Swaraj met Rajnath Singh and Jaitley, about an hour before Tuesday’s press conference, which was on the issue of central assistance to Jammu and Kashmir.

“As part of RSS strategy, it was decided in the meeting that only Jaitley will answer the questions related to Sushma Swaraj. It happened like that,” an informed source, wishing not to be named, told IANS.

The Congress attacked both Jaitley and Rajnath Singh on the Lalit Modi issue on Tuesday but Jaitley chose to take all the questions on the subject.

BJP MP from Darbhanga Kirti Azad on Sunday gave rise to speculation with his cryptic tweet about “aastin ka saanp (snake in the grass)” as the story blew up about Sushma Swaraj helping Lalit Modi procure travel documents on “humanitarian” grounds and thje media focused on it.

“#BJPs #AsteenKaSaanp & #Arnab conspire against BJP leaders. Guess the snake? IStandWithSushmaSwaraj @SushmaSwaraj,” Azad tweeted, triggering speculation that he was talking about the person in the BJP who had targeted Sushma Swaraj with the leaks about Lalit Modi.

A RSS source told IANS that the controversy faced by Sushma Swaraj came about when the BJP was focusing on Bihar elections, in which it will heavily bank on the achievements of the Narendra Modi government.

The source said that there is realisation that the party faces a tough challenge in Bihar and it cannot afford any internal tension.

He also said that there was no allegation against the Modi government in its first year in office but opposition has now seized on an issue to put the government in the defensive.

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