The high voter turnout in the seven phases so far is being construed as a vote for change and tilt towards the BJP and its prime ministerial choice Narendra Modi. Surely a matter of jubilation and elation for the RSS, one would assume. But there is the flip side, too.
The widely-perceived ‘wave’ has left the RSS brass worried on account of the high expectations from Modi to deliver if the BJP forms the government at the Centre.
The pressure emanating from such expectations is the main reason for the saffron fountainhead’s worry.
“I have no doubt that a BJP-led NDA government will come to power at the Centre. The people have shown unprecedented belief in the BJP. But will it be able to fulfil all these expectations?” RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat reportedly told some swayamsevaks recently in Nagpur.
During the interaction, Bhagwat — who was instrumental in steadfastly projecting Modi as the BJP’s PM candidate — made it clear that the hopes notwithstanding, the BJP government will have to function within a specific framework and limited leg room. Besides, the RSS’s reputation was tied to the BJP’s performance, he said.
According to sources, the RSS chief told the swayamsevaks that they should not expect the Modi government to immediately scrap Article 370 or build a Ram temple at Ayodhya. “We should allow the government to function smoothly. After the elections, the swayamsevaks should return to propagating the RSS ideology and conducting shakhas,” he said.
When a swayamsevak asked whether the Modi wave had spawned more RSS branches, Bhagwat retorted: “If the wave increased the Sangh’s shakhas, we would have engaged him as a pracharak instead of sending him to the BJP.”
Meanwhile, nearly 1 lakh RSS group leaders and 6 lakh swayamsevaks from 42,000-odd units spread across the country are working tirelessly to ensure the BJP’s victory.