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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 18, 2013
For the third year in a row, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — the ideological mentor of the principal Opposition party BJP — has claimed an increase in the number of its Shakhas (units), the bedrock of the Sangh’s functioning at the ground level. Out of this increase of about 2,000 Shakhas over last year 40,000, Sangh claims 1,700 came from Tarun (youth) Shakhas. Significantly, it is among youth that the RSS is believed to be losing appeal, as most people one sees in Shakhas these days are ageing.

At one level, this growth augurs well for the BJP as its second line of support for polls seems to be not doing badly, but at another, it signals RSS attempts to interfere in the affairs of the BJP more as polls beckon.