To break ice over Modi, RSS chief breaks bread with Advani, Sushma

LRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is seemingly on a mission to build bridges within the various factions of the BJP in view of the upcmoing polls (AP)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has apparently been engaged in "dinner diplomacy" to build a consensus in the BJP over the timing of naming Narendra Modi as the party's 2014 prime ministerial candidate even as the Gujarat chief minister is thought to be getting frustrated over the delay.

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Bhagwat is learnt to have discussed the issue with party patriarch L K Advani and the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj over dinner earlier this week.

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While party leaders remained tightlipped about the meeting, sources said the RSS chief's "dinner diplomacy" was a bid to develop a consensus on the issue that has divided the BJP's top leadership.

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While Modi's projection is a fait accompli, the party remains divided on whether the declaration should be made before or after the Assembly elections due later this year.

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Besides Bhagwat, RSS number two Bhaiyyaji Joshi also met Advani and Swaraj on Sunday to discuss the same issue. BJP president Rajnath Singh was also present at the meeting involving Joshi but he met Bhagwat separately over a week back to discuss the issue.

The hectic parleys come in the wake of mounting pressure from Modi supporters within the party to announce his candidature soon after the monsoon session of Parliament ends Saturday.

Modi had said on Thursday that he did not dream of any position and wanted to fulfill his mandate in Gujarat until 2017. This was construed in party circles as an expression of his frustration with the party's dithering over formally naming him as the PM candidate.

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