Even as Team Anna has made every possible effort to distance itself from the Sangh Parivar, the RSS continues to maintain that its Swayamsevaks have powered Anna Hazare's movement against corrption. The team, during a demonstration, at Jantar Mantar on Sunday attacked BJP chief ministers and NDA convenor and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav.
Days ago, Sangh general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi had told delegates at the annual meet of the RSS' highest body Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha: "Massive popular campaigns were launched last year for bringing in Jan Lokpal Bill and bringing back Indian black money from banks abroad. Sangh Swayamsevaks also as conscious citizens participated in this movement in a big way."
"Unwarranted controversy was sought to be created for narrow political ends over the involvement of Sangh in these campaigns. Instead of addressing the concerns of these campaigns, efforts were made to divert public attention," he added.
Interestingly, in a year when the RSS has been tangled in a major controversy over its purported participation in the Anna campaign-something that Anna Hazare has dismissed and dubbed as defamatory-the number of the Sangh's Shakhas grew by 1,000.
"Currently, there are 40,891 shakhas in 27,978 places (across India)," Sangh general secretary (Sarkaryavaha) Joshi told delegates at the recent annual meet of the RSS' highest body Akhil Bharatiya Pratindhi Sabha.
The number of Shakhas of the organisation had been falling from 51,000 in 2005-06, but the decline was arrested last year with a marginal increase. This year shows a further upward trend from last year. At the same time last year, 39,908 shakhas were active in 27,078 places across India.