Having worked in an unprecedented manner for the victory of the BJP, all senior RSS leaders have left the Capital for their annual ‘officer training camps’ or Sangh Shiksha Vargs. When Narendra Modi is sworn in, Suresh Soni, as in-charge of BJP affairs, may be the only RSS leader present.
While RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat left on May 10, sarkaryavah Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi left Delhi early Monday morning. Dr Krishna Gopal, who was deputed to assist Soni in BJP affairs before the elections, left for Nagpur three days ago, where he will be monitoring third-year training camps till the third week of June. Dattatreya Hosbale, who also helped Soni with BJP affairs, left the headquarters Monday evening. RSS publicity chief Manmohan Vaidya left on Sunday and will be back only after June 15. Indresh Kumar left for Nagpur on Monday night, and is scheduled to return on May 22.
Among the prominent RSS leaders, only Soni remains in the Capital now.
The training camps, where the RSS leaders give speeches or ‘boudhdhiks’, are being held at over 40 places across the country for nearly 40,000 swayamsewaks. The camps are generally held in the months of May and June — the most busy period for the Sangh — and the RSS is not likely to alter its plans for Modi’s swearing-in.
Already, in some states, the RSS has had to postpone the schedule for a few days because of the Lok Sabha elections. Bhagwat is attending camps in southern states till June 8. Sources in the RSS said boudhdhik schedules are hardly ever altered, and that the only possibility of Bhagwat changing his plans would arise if Modi requested him to come. However, given Bhagwat’s practice of maintaining a respectable distance from the BJP, sources don’t see him changing his schedule.
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Senior RSS functionaries including Bhagwat are also said to be particular that their routine work not be affected because of the BJP coming to power. RSS offices across the country had seen a flood of ticket-seekers before the elections, and now elected MPs are queuing up to get blessings of pracharaks for a berth in government.
Pracharaks are concerned that after government formation, there may be a flood of officials claiming to be swayamsewaks and seeking their blessings for plum posts. Said a senior pracharak, “Our experience of the previous NDA government at the Centre and our governments in some states is that it is better if we are travelling most of the time for work. Otherwise, our energy is wasted in these useless things.”
At the 50 camps — one third-year (the final year), 11 second-year and rest first-year — swayamsewaks receive training in RSS ideology and physical exercises. While first-year and second-year camps are of 20 days each, third-year camps last 25 days. Some camps are held for senior citizens who cannot take part in hard physical exercises.
While almost all senior functionaries try to visit every camp, Bhagwat only visits third-year and second-year camps.