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RSS keeps away from Chandigarh civic body polls

We help them but the civic body elections are fought on local issues. A swayamsewak is free to support any political party. He can even participate in door-to-door campaigning at his/her own level.”— Shashank ji head of RSS’ Prachar (publicity) affairs wing

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
December 17, 2021 5:29:47 am
BMC, Shiv Sena, Election Commission of India, Mumbai voters, e-kiosks, Mumbai, Mumbai news, Indian express, Indian express news, Mumbai latest newsSenior BJP leader Sanjay Tandon said, "It is a well known fact that RSS is an umbrella body of BJP. We usually communicate with each other but not interfere in the jurisdiction of each other. We belong to one ideology." (Representational)

The RSS which makes its presence felt in the Lok Sabha elections is conspicuous by its absence in the civic body elections.

“We help the candidates when they come to us. But we don’t go to them. Whenever they (BJP people) sought guidance from us in selection of candidates, we helped them. But we never interfere in their day-to-day functioning. In the parliamentary elections, we appeal to people for 100 per cent voting. But when it comes to local body elections, it is up to swayamsevaks,” said a full-time RSS worker.

A source said, “There are various leaders in BJP, who were once committed volunteers of RSS. BJP, Chandigarh, president Arun Sood has been a mukhya shikshak of a local branch (shakha) for so many years prior to entering the BJP. There are so many others, who have close alliance with the RSS people.”

An office-bearer of RSS in Chandigarh unit said, “Look, in national-level election, ideology matters. It is not the national-level election. These elections are based on local issues, which can vary from ward to ward. At the same time, there is also no bar on the grassroots swayamsevaks to support any particular party.”

Shashank ji, who heads the Prachar (publicity/communication) affairs, said, “We help them but the civic body elections are fought on local issues. A swayamsewak is free to support any political party. He can even participate in door-to-door campaigning at his/her own level.”

Senior BJP leader Sanjay Tandon said, “It is a well known fact that RSS is an umbrella body of BJP. We usually communicate with each other but not interfere in the jurisdiction of each other. We belong to one ideology.”

According to the RSS, Chandigarh is considered to be a Mahanagar (a metropolis city) which falls in Punjab prant (state). The Mahanagar is further divided into 12 nagars (parts). There are around 36 branches (shakhas), in which volunteers assemble every day. Some of the shakhas are morning shakhas and some of these take place in the evening.

A block-level BJP leader said, “There is no need to make separate appeals to them (RSS volunteers) for their

support. We always give respect to their opinion. They are with us.”
In the last few years, the RSS has its increased its cadres significantly in Chandigarh, especially in sectors and rehabilitation colonies, sources said.

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