Stating that the comparison made by Mohan Bhagwat between the Army and the Sangh was “disturbing and insulting”, BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday demanded an apology to the country from the RSS chief. Mayawati said Bhagwat’s statement, which has come at a time when the Army is facing different types of challenges, lowers the morale of the forces.
“The comparison made between Army and RSS swayamsevaks (volunteers) by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is indeed disturbing and insulting. If Bhagwat has so much faith in his militant swayamsevaks, then why are special commandos engaged in his security at the government’s expenses,” PTI quoted as Mayawati saying in a statement.
Mayawati further said: Mohan Bhagwat should remove his bhram (confusion) about swayamsevaks, because the RSS is no longer a social organisation, and is fast becoming a political organisation.
“Its swayamsevaks have shelved social service, and are seen busy in electoral politics of the BJP,” the statement added.
At a rally in Muzzafarpur on Sunday, Bhagwat said his organisation has the capability to raise a force, when the country needed it, in “three days”, compared to the Army, which would take “six to seven months” to do the same. After a wide criticism from the opposition, RSS yesterday clarified that Bhagwat had not compared the Army with Sangh volunteers and his remarks on the matter were “misrepresented”. Bhagwat’s remarks at RSS workers meet in Bihar on February 11 were made as a comparison between common people and volunteers and were in “no way a comparison” with the Army, RSS Akhil Bhartiya Prachaar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju also defended Bhagwat’s statement, saying the RSS chief had “only said it takes 6-7 months for a person to be a trained soldier”, and if Constitution permits, RSS cadres have “ability to contribute”
Hitting out at Bhagwat, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday called it “an insult to every Indian”. “The RSS Chief’s speech is an insult to every Indian, because it disrespects those who have died for our nation. It is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it. Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our Army,” Rahul tweeted.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh tweeted, “Had anyone else from another party made the same remark, the BJP government would have sent him or her to Pakistan. The media would have sought death penalty for the person.”
(With PTI inputs)