Did Modi meet RSS over fears about Joshi, Keshubhai?

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi may claim he flew to meet with the RSS top brass in Nagpur yesterday for a routine meeting but is there more to the BJP leader's visit to meet the organisation's president ahead of the upcoming state polls?

According to an Indian Express report, Modi is growing more concerned about the machinations of RSS strongman and his bete noir Sanjay Joshi, VHP head Pravin Togadia and former mentor Keshubhai Patel as the state draws closer to the polls.

While the RSS has reportedly advised him to take everyone along and build a consensus ahead of the elections, the organisation is also reportedly worried about the Gujarat Chief Minister's brand of politics and his perceived intolerance towards dissent, recently seen when he ensured the expulsion of the RSS-favoured Joshi from the BJP's higher echelon.

Reasons to be worried for the Gujarat Chief Minister? AFP

His sudden affinity for the RSS didn't escape comment from his former mentor Keshubhai Patel as well, who said that the Gujarat Chief Minister discovered the organisation only when in times of trouble.

"When the election is coming up, he (Modi) remembered RSS and Mohan Bhagwat. This clearly shows that for him, situation here (in the state) is very tough and that's why he has rushed there (to Nagpur) to meet them," Patel told reporters when asked about Modi's visit to Nagpur.

Aside from Patel who is looking to rain on his parade, Modi has perhaps also had his eye on Joshi's visit to the state last week where he met with party and RSS leaders who are reportedly disgruntled by the functioning of the Chief Minister.

Another fear among Modi's supporters, according to a Times of India report, is the fact that Togadia, who heads the vitriolic Vishwa Hindu Parishad, may ally with Patel in the upcoming state polls and will eat into the Chief Minister's plans of improving his performance in the state, potentially clearing the path for his rise into national politics.

While he may not be saying much, the Gujarat Chief Minister, who is known to manage every detail of his election campaign, perhaps did not want to leave too much to chance and his meeting with the RSS may have been his request to the organisation to rein in any loose canons from destroying his carefully built plans.

with inputs from PTI