After Bhagwat’s statement, RSS dismissed reports of differences with BJP

The Uncut

New Delhi. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Friday rejected reports of its differences with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and termed it an attempt to create “confusion”. RSS sources also refused to believe that the critical comments of Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat on the Lok Sabha election results were aimed at the ruling party. Sources also said that the three-day annual coordination meeting of the RSS and its affiliates, including the BJP, will begin in Kerala’s Palakkad district on August 31. Senior party leaders, including the BJP president, are expected to attend the meeting.

RSS sources said, “There is no rift between the RSS and the BJP.” This statement of the Sangh is also important because a section of people including opposition leaders claim that Bhagwat’s comment is a message to the top leadership of the BJP after not performing as expected in the Lok Sabha elections, in which he had said that ‘a true servant is never arrogant.’ Sources said, “There is not much difference between the speeches he (Bhagwat) gave after the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections and this time’s speech. In any address, it is natural to have a reference to an important event like national elections.”

He said, “But it was misinterpreted and taken out of context to create confusion. His ‘arrogance’ comment was never against Prime Minister Narendra Modi or any BJP leader.” In his speech on Monday, Bhagwat had expressed concern over the lack of peace in Manipur even after a year. Along with this, he criticized the discussions during the elections and called for moving forward instead of unnecessary discussions on what and how will happen after the elections are over and the results are out. Opposition leaders used his comments as a weapon to target the BJP and Modi.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh had said that even if the conscience of ‘one-third’ of the prime minister or the repeated appeals of the people of Manipur failed to sway him, Bhagwat might be able to persuade the former RSS functionary to visit Manipur. RSS sources said that such claims by opposition leaders are nothing but politics of spreading confusion. Sangh sources also distanced themselves from the statement of RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar, who is considered the ideological mentor of the BJP, in which he had targeted the BJP over its electoral performance and said that ‘Lord Ram stopped those who had become arrogant at 241’.

He said, “The party which worshipped Lord Ram but became arrogant was stopped at 241… though it became the largest party.” He said, “And those who had no faith in Ram were together stopped at 234.” He was referring to the ‘India’ alliance which got 234 seats in this election.

An RSS functionary said this was Kumar’s personal opinion and did not reflect the organisation’s views. Sources also dismissed reports that the RSS was not involved in the election process this time in support of the BJP the way it had been in the past.

He said, “RSS does not do propaganda but creates awareness among people and it did its job during the elections. We have held lakhs of meetings across the country. In Delhi alone, we held more than one lakh small group meetings.” When asked about the possibility of appointing a new BJP president in place of cabinet minister JP Nadda in the central government, RSS sources said that their organization has always been a part of the consultation process for such an important decision.

“This time too the situation will not be different,” a source said. He said that the BJP has a history of leaders with RSS background. When asked about Nadda’s alleged comment that the BJP does not need the RSS as much as it used to because the party’s own organisation has become strong, the source said that RSS volunteers discussed it and then got busy with their work.

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