Krishna Gopal may replace Soni

September 02 2013

The RSS appears all set to sack its liaison man in the BJP, Suresh Soni, and is likely to replace him with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s close confidant Krishna Gopal. If this happens, it will be a big jolt to the Narendra Modi camp as the rival LK Advani camp has been pressing for Soni’s removal for some time now.
Sources say Bhagwat had given indications to this effect while interacting with BJP leaders during his three-day visit to Delhi last week. Sources said Gopal had accompanied Bhagwat to all these important meetings and he was virtually introduced as RSS’ future point person for the BJP.
Bhagwat’s move is aimed at striking a balance between the two power centres in the BJP: Modi and Advani. In fact, when the RSS was trying to placate Advani after he had dramatically resigned from all posts at the time of BJP’s Goa convention, the BJP patriarch had kept Soni’s removal as one of the conditions for taking back the resignations.
Just a couple of months back, RSS had asserted that Soni will not be removed. However, Soni has been involved in controversies for some time, making his continuance as Sangh’s liaison man untenable. Recently, his name had cropped up in the diaries seized during income-tax raids on the premises of two business houses of Bhopal. According to the notings in the diaries, payments were made for Soni’s travels.
The Modi camp is against Soni’s removal before the elections saying it will send a wrong signal to the cadres. Besides, many in the BJP are uncomfortable with Gopal’s pro-Brahmin image. The Modi camp feels that if the change has to be made, it should be done after the polls.
However, the Advani camp is not prepared to wait. Besides, what has made matters worse for Soni is that he can’t see eye to eye with Bhagwat’s blue-eyed boy, former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari.
Hailing from Mathura, Gopal has done doctorate in environmental science from Council of Scientific & Industrial Research.

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