With the Lok Sabha elections drawing closer, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat has geared up to galvanise swayamsevaks and BJP leaders with a message to work in coordination. To achieve this, he recently spent five days in Varanasi where he suggested party leaders to cover up internal differences and present the party as undivided before the public and media.
Bhagwat’s five-day tour ended on Sunday with an hour-long address to swayamsevaks and BJP leaders of Kashi region.
While BJP’s Kashi region president and RSS member Laxman Acharya denied any political discussion held by Bhagwat during his entire stay in Varanasi, sources confirmed that Bhagwat, during his Sunday address, directed the workers and the party leaders to exercise “everything to depict the country as a Hindu nation”.
According to sources, Bhagwat said that several political parties were causing trouble to India’s identity (of a Hindu nation) in the name of being secular. “The message was clear that we need to take steps to increase dominance of Hindus in the country when the Muslims now comprise over 25 per cent (of the country’s population). Bhagwatji did not take the name of Narendra Modi or BJP, but he hinted that only a BJP-ruled government can safeguard (India’s) ‘Hindu nation identity’,” said an RSS office-bearer.
Sources informed that Bhagwat had held meeting with BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai, state general secretary (organisation) Rakesh Jain and some party MLAs earlier where he had asked them to “ensure that internal differences among the party leaders do not come out” — at least, until the elections.
Sources also said that Bhagwat had directed workers to be united for the elections as any sign of difference will affect wining prospects and can lead to voters getting divided. Bhagwat’s suggestion was a fallout of reports of groupism among party leaders ever since BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was declared the party’s prime ministerial candidate and his close confidant Amit Shah was given the charge of UP.
Sources have also informed that Bhagwat has discussed the panel of names that BJP has prepared for the selection of candidates for UP’s 80 Lok Sabha seats.
Bhagwat has, reportedly, asked the workers to ensure that all the Hindu voters in any polling booth turn up to cast their votes. “If an RSS worker will ask any person to vote, obviously that person would vote for the BJP candidate,” said an RSS functionary.
The sangh has, meanwhile, assigned the job of facilitating registration of Hindus as voters to its students’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
Bhagwat expressed unhappiness over decreasing number of ‘shakhas’ in the state and directed to revive the exercise across the state. Bhagwat also gave a suggestion to RSS workers, who have been given various responsibilities in BJP, “not to become politicians and keep working for the sangh,” according to an RSS leader.