Doval, India’s most powerful security bureaucrat, reportedly attended a BJP-RSS meeting where election strategies for three Northeastern states were discussed.
New Delhi: National security advisor Ajit Doval has found himself at the centre of a political storm. Citing media reports, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday claimed that he was present at a BJP-RSS meeting where election strategy for the upcoming Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland assembly elections was discussed at home minister’s Rajnath Singh’s house.
“If correct, this is a shocking violation of norms and serious misconduct,” a CPI-M statement said. “How can a senior government functionary like the NSA be present in a meeting to discuss the BJP’s election campaign?”
The Left party asked the home minister to clarify the government’s stand on the issue.
In fact, Bijan Dhar, the CPI(M)’s state secretary in Tripura, has reportedly written a letter to chief election commissioner A.K. Joti on the matter. According to the letter, Dhar said Rajnath Singh held the meeting on Sunday with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Krishna Gopal, among others, in attendance.
India’s most powerful security bureaucrat, Doval was appointed by Modi in May 2014 and is only answerable to the prime minister. “Doval is among the few to constantly have the ear of a prime minister who has centralised power more than any of his predecessors in decades,” reported Caravan Magazine. “Doval’s political connections have contributed heavily to his career. During his IB years, he had close links to the BJP and RSS.”
That camaraderie has obviously not dissipated despite Doval being appointed NSA. Just two months ago, The Wire reported on how top BJP ministers in the current government serve as directors in son Shaurya Doval’s think-tank, the India Foundation.
To put Doval’s reported attendance at a BJP election strategy meeting in perspective, Brajesh Mishra, India’s first NSA, who had a close relationship with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, resigned from the BJP when he was appointed the NSA in November 1998 and ensured that he steered clear of any such political entanglements.