In the past, the bms' periodic anti-government agitations failed to find a political resonance. But this time, rss stalwart Dattopant Thengadi has decided to participate, a move that has set off alarm bells in the government. A little over two years ago, when Thengadi sat on a dharna against the government's "anti-swadeshi" economic policies, it was perceived as a frontal and serious attack on Vajpayee by the rss. But following a rapprochement between Vajpayee and the rss, the rss downplayed its protest.
Vajpayee has so far been averse to taking political dictation from the rss. Occasionally, he threw them a few crumbs to keep them happy and all the while projected the rss as being more indebted to him than the other way around. This he has been able to do, secure in the knowledge that whatever the rss did, it would stop short of toppling the government.