Amit Shah worked magic in the critical state of Uttar Pradesh to help the Bharatiya Janata Party win 71 of 80 Lok Sabha seats. So why does the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh oppose the idea of making Narendra Modi’s closest aide the president of the BJP? RSS insiders, who admit that a deadlock on the choice of party leader has emerged due to differences between the Sangh and Modi on the matter, have two sets of answers.

One answer is that the RSS, the parent of the Hindutva group of organisations to which the BJP belongs, does not want to transfer complete control of the party to Modi. It is no secret that if Amit Shah were to head the BJP, Modi would have the ability to take all decisions for the party. “Complete control over the government and the party by one person would not be in the interest of the Sangh Parivar,” said an RSS official who requested anonymity.

The RSS fears that such centralisation of power would result in Modi implementing his Gujarat model on the Sangh Parivar at national level. In Gujarat, there is no BJP, the RSS official said – merely a bunch of Modi supporters. No dissidence is allowed. Even the RSS in the state has lost its commanding position to Modi. “In the entire Sangh Parivar in Gujarat, it is Modi’s men who take all the decisions, and the detractors simply have no place in it,” the RSS official said. “The Sangh cannot allow that to happen in rest of the country.”

Through the campaign and since his victory, Modi has made his desire clear – not just the government, even the BJP must work under him. The meeting of BJP general secretaries that he convened on Saturday made this even more obvious. This meeting was the first major event at 7 Race Course Road and was attended by ten general secretaries of the party.

The very real possibility of losing control of the BJP isn’t the only reason the RSS isn’t keen on Amit Shah becoming party president. Though a section of the leaders in the BJP acknowledges Shah’s contribution to ensuring a huge number of seats in UP for the party in the Lok Sabha elections, the RSS has another opinion.

“Why should we talk about UP alone?” asked an RSS official. “Was the result any different in Bihar? Isn’t Bihar part of the Hindi belt? And how would you explain the results in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and many other states? Didn’t party do similarly well in all of these states without Amit Shah? Can you deny the contributions of lakhs and lakhs of RSS workers in creating this magic for the BJP?”

While the RSS is attempting to draw attention to the role played its volunteers in Modi’s victory, they also acknowledge that  his popularity makes the new Hindutva icon extremely useful. As a result, his decisions have a force that no one in the Sangh Parivar – not even the parental body of the BJP – can withstand.

Party officials say that over the past few days, outgoing BJP president Rajnath Singh, who is considered close to both the RSS and Modi, has been working hard to break the impasse. Last Wednesday, he held a closed-door meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and other senior Sangh leaders to discuss various choices for the position. He then rushed to the Prime Minister’s office and held another meeting with Modi.

In addition to Amit Shah, JP Nadda, a Himachal Pradesh-based leader considered close to both RSS and Modi, is also a front-runner for the top job of the BJP. Recently, though, the names of BJP leaders Om Mathur and P Murlidhar Rao have also started doing the rounds. A decision has to be taken in next few days.

At the moment, however, the deadlock continues, as does the Sangh Parivar’s internal struggle.