More than 400 RSS volunteers, including district, sub-district and shakha heads, announced their resignation from the organisation late on Wednesday, protesting against the sacking of Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar earlier in the day.
The mass resignations followed a marathon six-hour meeting held at a school complex near Panaji, in which over 100 local RSS members and office bearers accused Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP top brass, including defence minister Manohar Parrikar, of conspiracy to sack Velingkar, one of the most influential RSS leaders in the state.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting that was also attended by office bearers of the Sangh’s Konkan region, Ramdas Saraf, south district pramukh of the RSS, said: “All office bearers from the district units, sub-district units and shakhas along with hundreds of others have decided to quit from the RSS, until Velingkar Sir is reinstated.”
“We will not work for RSS until the decision to strip him as Goa Vibhag Sangh Chalak is revoked,” Saraf said.
Velingkar, who also heads a regional language front, Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), has been critical of the state government’s medium of instruction policy in primary schools, which he claims promotes English language over regional languages like Konkani and Marathi.
Velingkar also accused successive BJP-led coalition governments in Goa under Manohar Parrikar, who is now the defence minister, and Laxmikant Parsekar of “cheating” people on the issue of medium of instruction.
On Monday, Velingkar warned that the BJP may lose the upcoming assembly elections had participated in a protest, which showed black flags to BJP president Amit Shah during his visit to the state on August 20.
As BBSM convenor, Velingkar has also threatened to mentor another political party, with the specific purpose to defeat the BJP in the upcoming elections, because of the saffron party’s lack of support to regional languages.
Veteran state RSS leader Jayant Lele, who was also present at the meeting, said the BJP should stop dictating terms to the RSS in Goa and that such attempts will not be tolerated.
“RSS is a parent body. Goa BJP cannot dictate terms to the RSS,” he said, even as RSS volunteers cried ‘Shame, Shame’ in the background.
At the meeting earlier, a large number of senior RSS members criticised the state BJP-led coalition government, as well as Parrikar and former state organising secretary of the BJP Satish Dhond for allegedly betraying the principles of the RSS on the altar of power.