BJP discusses usage of Hindutva as core issue

Shimla: In a dilemma over usage of Hindutva as the core issue, BJP's top leadership on Thursday discussed the importance of ideology for the party on the second day of their three-day brainstorming introspective deliberations here.

Against the backdrop of the party's poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP leaders discussed at a 'Chintan Baithak' as to what extent its ideology, particularly with regard to Hindutva, should be practised to boost its electoral prospects.

The party has been lately in a dilemma over the issue, with some factions favouring a hardline while some others a softer and "inclusive" Hindutva to expand its vote bank.

A section in the BJP feels that dilution of hardline Hindutva had led to confusion in the party cadres and cost BJP dearly in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

This view, however, is not shared by moderate sections, which want to win over more allies and reach out to voters who are reluctant to go with BJP because of Hindutva issue.

At its National Executive held in Delhi in June, the BJP had insisted that "Hinduism or Hindutva is not to be understood or construed narrowly, confined only to religious practices or expressed in extreme forms."

It contended that Hindutva was "inclusive representing the finest imprints of our cultural and civilisational ideas. This profound concept is the real inspiration for a resurgent India with which the BJP is proud to be associated."

Some sections of the BJP, including senior leader L K Advani, have lately been advocating that the party cadres follow a tolerant version of Hindutva while maintaining its ties with RSS.

A section, including M M Joshi, have been opposing dilution of hardline Hindutva as the 'core issue'.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat in a recent interview emphasised on the need for BJP to stay with its core ideology.

BJP yesterday sent out a message of assertion on the issue of ideology as it summarily expelled its senior leader Jaswant Singh for praising Pakistan founder M A Jinnah and criticising Sardar Patel in his book, "Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence".

On the first day of the Baithak yesterday, 25 top leaders of the party deliberated upon the poll results and the causes of the poor showing. The meeting held threadbare discussions on aspects like selection of candidates, campaign strategy and issues raised during electioneering.

Bureau Report