Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudarshan's advice to senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Kishenchand Advani to retire has brought back to the open old rifts in the saffron brotherhood.
Observers say that Sudarshan's statement is a clear indication that all's not well in the Sangh Parivar. The statement is also a reflection of the Parivar's increasing annoyance with the BJP, especially its top ranks.
According to analysts, the RSS was disillusioned at the manner in which the BJP had sidelined organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, when it was in power at the Centre.
More specifically, although Vajpayee is a Swayamsevak himself, he is openly projected as the BJP's moderate face and someone who will not act at the whims and fancies of the RSS.
Even Advani, the blue-eyed boy of the RSS, is perceived to have drifted away from the core ideology of the saffron brotherhood.
The general perception is that the BJP gave the saffron organisations a very cold shoulder. Over a period of time, the RSS lost all control over the BJP.
Of course, the RSS maintains that it never exercised 'control' over the BJP and there was, therefore, no question of losing it.
In the Sangh Parivar, the Sarsanghachalak is the head of the family. Evidently, he had been under considerable pressure from other constituents over his perceived failure to maintain discipline in the household.
Insiders say that Sudarshan had merely been waiting for the right moment to wield the rod and show who was boss.
The RSS brass endured the BJP's neglect of the Parivar only out of concern that any outburst may bring the BJP-led government in New Delhi down.
The RSS did not want to appear to have precipitated the collapse.
After the May 2004 polls that saw the BJP bow out of power, the RSS waited some more time with the hope that the Congress-led governmentªwould tumble.
Nowªwith the Manmohan Singh government looking firmly ensconced in New Dehi, the RSS seems to have decided to fire a salvo at the BJP.
(Courtesy: Central India News Service)