FISSURES IN the Chandigarh Congress unit have surfaced after Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla went ahead to attend the orientation programme organised for the councillors by RSS-affiliated organisation at the Municipal Corporation office despite directions by the Congress not to attend the event. The orientation programme was organised on April 11 and 12 by the BJP-led Municipal Corporation which chose Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, an RSS-affiliated training and research institute, to impart training to all of them.
City Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra said, “We had clearly told the history of this training institute to our councillors that they are all RSS-based. The ideology of our party and theirs is totally different. However, still if his conscience allowed him to attend the event, what can we do? The others did not attend. It is all right if he attended it.”
Chhabra added, “Bansalji (Congress leader Pawan Bansal) and I were also invited but we didn’t attend the event. After all, there are so many other training institutes that impart training but the BJP intentionally called this RSS-affiliated organisation.”
Sources said that at Friday’s function of Ambedkar Jayanti which was being celebrated by the Congress, Bansal had asked Babla about the training. Babla clearly told Bansal there was no talk of anything related to RSS or BJP and it was all about learning and gaining knowledge and that is why he went. He said that the training of the councillors was not held at the BJP office and moreover, the experts did not speak anything which reflected the ideology of BJP or RSS.
Babla refused to comment on the issue.
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP) had provided training to the councillors on April 11 and 12 about public conduct, Municipal Corporation Act, financing and several other MC-related issues. Professor Aniruddh Deshpande, RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Sampark Pramukh, is the chairman of this organisation while BJP vice-president Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, a Rajya Sabha MP, is the vice-chairman. The organisation has been at the centre of socio-political activities of RSS and BJP leaders since its inception in 1982. It is said that it is an academy for training and orientation of socio-political activists and a centre for overall public-awakening activities and research projects.