WITH THE RSS indicating that it would not encourage aggressive criticism or protests against the BJP, organisational secretaries of both the BJP and RSS are set to meet in Surajkund (Haryana) in the second week of September.
Although BJP leaders called it a routine meeting to discuss coordination, sources said it could be significant in the wake of recent developments that indicate that the RSS leadership does not want its affiliates to confront the BJP leadership publicly. While the RSS has removed its Goa chief, Subhash Velingkar, for his stand against the BJP government, its labour wing, BMS, has decided not to participate in a strike called by other trade unions following the leadership’s intervention.
In contrast, both the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, the RSS economic wing, and BMS led several protests against the economic policies of the then A B Vajpayee government.
The meeting, on September 10-12, will be addressed by RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi and joint general secretary Krishna Gopal, the pointsman between Sangh and BJP. Party chief Amit Shah may also attend it.
Sources said while the Goa development is not listed as an agenda for the meeting, the issue could come up. “The RSS has clarified that it does not want any of its affiliates to go against the BJP leadership publicly. The leaders want the Sangh to support PM Narendra Modi — on economic policies or political issues,” said a BJP general secretary.
Even when Modi took a strong public stand against the cow vigilante groups, which have been accused of atrocities against Dalits and Muslims, the top leadership asked the Sangh Parivar leaders to refrain from public criticism.
Sources said the action against Velingkar is significant, as it indicates that the RSS will support the BJP’s attempts to woo other communities to expand its base. Among his demands, Velingkar had said the state government should stop financial aid to 127 English medium primary schools run by the Church.
Even when Manohar Parrikar was the CM, the BJP did not want to antagonise the Christian community, which had supported it in the 2012 polls. The BJP’s national leadership has assessed that the Christian community, an influential group in Kerala and the North East, is not averse to the party. Party sources said upsetting the community in Goa could adversely affect its prospects in these states too.