BJP president Amit Shah on Friday seconded the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) stand on the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya after participating in the RSS’ three-day convention.
“We do not have a view different from him on the Ram temple issue,” Shah said when asked to comment on senior RSS leader Dattatreya Hobale’s assertions that the issue of construction of the Ram temple was in the BJP’s manifesto and the party would deliver on the promise.
Hosbale had also batted for the BJP, saying “The new government needs time. One should leave it to the government how it wants to chart out its priorities--- it has time till 2019.”
He said the RSS presence in villages had increased tremendously and the Sangh’s rural focus would continue. The BJP recently launched a model village scheme across the country, which would impact UP the most.
Claiming that the BJP was quite strong in UP, Shah also challenged the Samajwadi Party (SP) to hold the elections immediately.
The meeting of the RSS national council, the Sangh’s highest decision making body, began in the presence of 390 top sangh leaders and the BJP chief. In keeping with the RSS' hierarchy, Shah was seated with other RSS leaders below the stage, which was reserved for RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and his deputy Bhaiyyaji Joshi.
Under Shah, the BJP’s coordination with the RSS has been excellent, with several Sangh leaders being inducted into Shah’s national team.
Interestingly Shah had earlier described UP as the ‘last frontier’ and the ‘final goal.’ But Hosbale, expectedly, denied any political motives to Shah’s presence. “BJP chiefs in the past, too, have been attending our meetings,” he said.
The RSS leadership praised its cadre for participating in relief, rescue and now rehabilitation work in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir, (where elections are due later this year), Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.
“In J&K, the cadre rescued 3,085 people, besides holding 140 health camps in which 41,000 people were treated,” Hosbale said, adding that they would now be concentrating on rehabilitating the displaced in J&K as well as in other parts of the country.
Commenting on the RSS meet, the SP charged the Sangh with playing up a divisive, communal agenda.