The Bharatiya Janata Party's setbacks in recent assembly bypolls, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, months after its excellent performance in the Lok Sabha elections, will top the agenda of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s three-day conclave at Lucknow from October 17-19.

“The Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal will also take a stock of the functioning of the Narendra Modi government and suggest some course correction if required,” said a senior office bearer of the RSS, which is part of the network of fundamentalist organisations to which the BJP belongs.

The Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal is the RSS's highest policy formulation body.

Tightening grip

At its last meeting held from July 6-8 at Mohankheda in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district, the ABKM had taken  major decisions aimed primarily at tightening the RSS’ grip over the BJP.

The organisation is concerned with the BJP's performances in recent elections, even swept the Hindi heartland in the Lok Sabha elections. Of the 11 Uttar Pradesh assembly constituencies for which bypolls were held on September 13, the BJP won merely three seats. A bye-election for the Lok Sabha seat of Mainpuri in the state also went in favour of the Samajwadi Party. In Bihar, where bypolls were held in ten assembly seats, the saffron party won just four.

“The discussions on the last day of the brainstorming session will especially be significant because on that day the results of the assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana will be declared,” said the RSS office-bearer. “The results will have bearing on the kind of course correction the Karyakari Mandal will suggest at the end of its meet.”

The meeting will be attended by the RSS’ top five office bearers: Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, Sarkaryavah (general secretary) Bhaiyyaji Joshi, Sah Sarkaryavahs (joint general secretaries) Suresh Soni, Dattatreya Hosabale and Krishna Gopal. They will be stay in Lucknow for ten days, from October 13 to 23, to attend these and other meetings.

Brainstorming session

BJP president Amit Shah, general secretary Ram Madhav and the party’s general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal will also attend the three-day brainstorming session of the Karyakari Mandal.

According to sources, the top leadership of the RSS is still divided on whether to pass a resolution on “love jihad”, a term used by various constituents of the Sangh Parivar to suggest that Muslim men are luring Hindu girls into marriage and then forcing them to convert to Islam. As the bypoll results have shown, all the attempts to create polarisation by raking up ridiculous issues like love jihad have backfired on the BJP.

“The idea is to look for ways to revive the BJP in Hindi belt,” the RSS office-bearer added.