An RSS leader from Madhya Pradesh has announced a Rs 1-crore reward for anyone who brings the head of Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, holding his government responsible for the recent killing of members of right- wing organisations in the southern state.
Kundan Chandrawat, who made the remark during a dharna in Ujjain on Wednesday, even offered to sell his properties to fund the reward.
The RSS was quick to distance itself from the announcement made by Chandrawat, the outfit’s Ujjain mahanagar prachar pramukh. The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh too tried to downplay it.
Several activists of the right-wing group and Kerala’s ruling CPI-M were killed in the recent past as the southern state witnessed a spurt in political turf war.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said in Thiruvananthapuram that he can’t stop work due to such threats. “The RSS has taken the heads of many people. I can’t stop working and travelling due to this. Let it issue many more threats I don’t care,” he said.
Later, speaking to HT, Chandrawat said his remark was an expression of anger and was not intended to incite any violence or killing. He said he didn’t mean to kill anybody and his words were expression of anger.
“Shivaji was our ancestor. There are many Chandrawats who can sacrifice their lives for the country. There was a time when Bhagat Singh exploded a bomb to make the then deaf and dumb British government to listen to our voice. I have done the same thing to attract the attention of the Kerala government which is deaf and dumb.”
Chandrawat is a Madhya Pradesh government employee working as a malaria inspector. He said he has been in the service for the past 20 years.
Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh said Chandrawat might have made the announcement on the spur of the moment. People at times lose control over their words when they are very angry, Singh said talking to reporters in the assembly premises. The way Hindus are being killed in Kerala, he said, there is anger across the country.
RSS’s Indore kshetra prachar pramukh Praveen Kabra said the organisation didn’t believe in any kind of violence.
“I don’t deny that he is an RSS office-bearer, but whatever he has said is his personal opinion. The RSS has nothing to do with it”, he added.
Opposition parties, however, grabbed the opportunity to target the RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the BJP.
Leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh assembly and Congress leader Ajay Singh condemned the statement and demanded immediate arrest of the RSS office-bearer for his provocative statements.
The CPI also condemned the statement on its Facebook page. It said the remark is the manifestation of the RSS’s mindset.
The party said the RSS is scared of the communists because they know leftists could fight the right-wing elements on the streets to “defend secular values” of the nation.